Dem leader calls Massa claims 'absurd' - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Dem leader calls Massa claims 'absurd'

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The House's No. 2 Democrat is dismissing as "absurd" former Rep. Eric Massa's claims that he was forced out by party leaders because of his opposition to health care.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., told reporters Tuesday that Massa's conspiracy argument was "absolutely untrue."

The former New York lawmaker, who is facing a harassment complaint from a male staffer, said Sunday that Democratic leaders will "stop at nothing" to advance the health care bill. Massa voted against the legislation last year.

Massa has given three explanations for leaving office. Last week, he said he would not seek re-election because of health problems.

Massa's departure reduces the majority House Speaker Nancy Pelosi needs for passage of health care legislation to 216.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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