House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday declined to join the growing roster of politicians calling for Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. to provide more details publicly about the his medical leave from the House.
"I have not spoken to him," said Pelosi, when pressed at a news conference on the health care reform law repeal vote set by Republicans for later Tuesday.
But the California Democrats added that "my curiosity or anybody else's" should not set the timing of when the congressman reveals more about why he is away.
Rather, Pelosi said that timing would only be "right" based on such things as when an evaluation of Jackson's condition is completed. She also seemed to suggest he had not missed that many days when the House has been in session, but did not counter when it was pointed out he already has missed 11 days of session days, and votes.
Pelosi's comments seem to be in slight contrast to those of Minority Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland, who said Wednesday morning that "Congressman Jackson and his office and his family would be well-advised to advise his constituents of his condition."
He went on to say that a number of members have faced health problems causing them no be absent from Congress. "This is not an unusual circumstance. People get sick, and when people get sick, they miss work. Everybody in America understands that," he said.
Hoyer's comments follow Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin saying on Monday that "as a public official ... there reaches a point when you have a responsibility to tell people what you're facing and how things are going."
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