“Washington, D.C. – Rep. Aaron Schock, the Illinois Republican who announced his resignation last week after a series of campaign and office spending scandals, bid farewell to Congress “with sadness and humility.” And then he compared his struggle with that of former President Abraham Lincoln’s. On the House floor days before his official final day in office Schock said “every person faces adversity in life” and noted that Lincoln represented the same Illinois seat in the House for one term.
““Few faced as many defeats in his personal business and public life as he did. His continued perseverance in the face of these trials – never giving up – is something all of us Americans should be inspired by, especially when going through a valley in life,” Schock said. He touted legislation he was proud to sponsor and projects in his district he believed helped his constituents. “For those whom I’ve let down, I will work tirelessly to make it up to you,” he said.
“CNN reported last week that FBI and federal prosecutors were investigating the 33-year-old congressman for potentially breaking the law in accounting for his campaign expenses. Questions about Schock’s record-keeping came after a Washington Post profile reported the congressman spent lavishly to decorate his office to resemble a set from the popular PBS show “Downton Abbey.” He paid $40,000 back to his office account.
“But a string of stories exposed details about the Illinois Republican flying on a private jet owned by a donor to a Chicago Bears game, taking staffers to a Katy Perry concert, bringing a large group of staff to New York using taxpayer funds and failing to disclose he took his photographer on a trip to India. Schock also highlighted his extensive travels around the world with pictures on social media, which aided reporters who began tracking his travel.
In an interview with Newslo, the [now former] congressman dismissed allegations that he had spent money that did not belong to him, again comparing himself to the US president who abolished slavery: “I really don’t know what all the fuss is about, I even gave back some of the money. Not to mention that I’m on my way out, so I really don’t understand why I’m the one being crucified right now.”
“I mean, it’s not like Lincoln was a saint in his day. I bet he used private carriages all the time, and nobody bitched to him about it. But, a poor, old congressman does something similar, and he’s being called out and threatened right away. So much for equal political treatment. I’m glad I’m leaving, I should have done it a long time ago,” Schock concluded.