New US Rep Hasn't Shown Up for Work Weeks After Election

Jimmy Gomez has his reasons for dragging his feet on his swearing in
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 28, 2017 3:32 PM CDT
3 Weeks After Winning Election, New Congressman Is Still MIA
Jimmy Gomez was elected to the House of Representatives in June. More than three weeks later, he still hasn't shown up to work.   (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, file)

Jimmy Gomez won a special election to represent Los Angeles in the House of Representatives on June 6—becoming the only Democrat to win a special election under President Trump—but he has yet to show up to work, the Washington Post reports. On Tuesday, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy sent a letter to Gomez and Nancy Pelosi questioning why Gomez hadn't been sworn in yet. "They have no representative to debate and vote in the People’s House on the critical issues facing our country," the letter said of Gomez's constituents. McCarthy was even more blunt on Wednesday, saying Gomez is "neglecting his job" and should maybe resign to let his constituents elect someone who actually wants to do the work.

The chairman of the House Democratic Caucus accused McCarthy of making "an unfounded attack on [Gomez's] character." Gomez has offered multiple reasons for holding off on his swearing in, the Los Angeles Times reports. First, he said he wanted to wait until his election was certified. But he's also currently a California state assemblyman and was trying to put off giving up that position as long as possible to vote on extending a cap-and-trade program. Gomez says he only agreed to stay for the vote until June 15 but a family issue prevented him from being sworn in last week. The Fourth of July holiday will mean further delays. A senior Democratic aide tells Politico Gomez will finally be sworn in July 11. Two representatives elected after Gomez have already been sworn in. The standard time for the winner of a special election to be sworn in is a week. (More Kevin McCarthy stories.)

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