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Rep. Mark Foley resigns House seat

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Filed: Country: Philippines

By John Whitesides, Political Correspondent, Reuters

Six-term Republican Rep. Mark Foley (news, bio, voting record) of Florida resigned from the U.S. Congress on Friday following reports he sent sexually inappropriate e-mails to underage male congressional interns.

Foley, chairman of the House caucus on missing and exploited children, said he would resign after ABC News reported he sent messages to current and former congressional pages with references to sexual organs and acts.

"Today I have delivered a letter to the Speaker of the House informing him of my decision to resign from the U.S. House of Representatives, effective today," said Foley, who is single, in a statement.

"I am deeply sorry and I apologize for letting down my family and the people of Florida I have had the privilege to represent."

Foley's decision to resign just five weeks before the November 7 congressional election complicated Republican efforts to retain control of the U.S. House of Representatives and offered a new target for Democrats, who must gain 15 seats to reclaim a majority.

Foley won re-election in 2004 with 68 percent of the vote and was favored in November over Democrat Tim Mahoney, a local business owner.

Foley's name will remain on the ballot, which has already been certified, said Susan Smith, a spokeswoman for the Florida Department of State. But Republicans have seven days to notify election officials of a replacement nominee who would take Foley's spot if he wins, she said.

President George W. Bush carried the district with 54 percent of the vote in 2004. Democrats said Foley had been polling at under 50 percent and they would contest the seat, but Republicans said they remained confident.

"It makes it more difficult, but we can still win," said Carl Forti, spokesman for the House Republican campaign committee. "It is a Republican district."

House Speaker Dennis Hastert said Foley had "done the right thing" by resigning. He said he had asked officials to look into the incident and make sure all congressional pages were safe. "None of us are very happy about it," he said of the Foley situation.

Foley was the author of the key sexual predator provisions of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, which Bush signed in July.

Foley, who represents a district in southern Florida, was also a member of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, which oversees tax and trade policy.

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Filed: Country: Belarus

Must have been a Log Cabin Republican? :whistle:

"Credibility in immigration policy can be summed up in one sentence: Those who should get in, get in; those who should be kept out, are kept out; and those who should not be here will be required to leave."

"...for the system to be credible, people actually have to be deported at the end of the process."

US Congresswoman Barbara Jordan (D-TX)

Testimony to the House Immigration Subcommittee, February 24, 1995

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