House Democrat Joins Calls For Austin To Resign
Rep. Chris Deluzio, D-Pa., leaves the U.S. Capitol after the last votes of the year on Thursday, December 14, 2023.
(Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

The chorus of people calling for Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to resign over a secretive hospitalization added a Capitol Hill Democrat to their ranks on Wednesday.

Rep. Chris Deluzio (D-PA), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, joined with Republicans in releasing a statement expressing a lack of confidence in Austin and demanding that he step down.

“I have lost trust in Secretary Lloyd Austin’s leadership of the Defense Department due to the lack of transparency about his recent medical treatment and its impact on the continuity of the chain of command,” Deluzio said in a post to X.

“I have a solemn duty in Congress to conduct oversight of the Defense Department through my service on the House Armed Services Committee. That duty today requires me to call on Secretary Austin to resign,” he added. “I thank Secretary Austin for his leadership and years of dedicated service to the American people and wish him a speedy recovery.”

Deluzio is an Iraq War veteran, voting rights attorney, and union organizer who first won his Pittsburgh-area district in the 2022 election, according to his congressional biography page. In the 2024 election, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee identified Deluzio as being one of the party’s most vulnerable incumbents. As of now, the Cook Political Report considers his race competitive, but leaning in the Democrat’s favor.

GOP lawmakers and former President Donald Trump have already called for Austin to resign or be fired over the defense secretary going AWOL for days last week over what has since been revealed to have been a hospitalization for complications following a procedure to treat prostate cancer.

“At this dangerous time when American service members are under attack in Iraq and Syria, our closest partner and ally Israel is at war with Hamas terrorists, and the threat from Communist China is on the rise, it is critical that the Secretary of Defense has the full trust of the American people, Congress, and the White House,” Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY) said in a statement.

“This concerning lack of transparency exemplifies a shocking lack of judgment and a significant national security threat,” she added. “There must be full accountability beginning with the immediate resignation of Secretary Austin and those that lied for him and a Congressional investigation into this dangerous dereliction of duty.”

The White House has ordered a review of Cabinet protocols while the Department of Defense announced its own review of records and communications to examine what happened internally when Austin got hospitalized and to come up with recommendations on how to improve “timely notification” to the White House, Congress, and the public when “certain authorities” are transferred. In the GOP-led House, a panel has begun a “formal inquiry” while at least one member is trying to impeach the defense secretary.


Austin said in a statement over the weekend that he was on the mend and conceded that he could have “done a better job ensuring the public was appropriately informed.” He added, “I commit to doing better. But this is important to say: this was my medical procedure, and I take full responsibility for my decisions about disclosure.”

White House officials said this week that President Joe Biden has “complete confidence” in Austin and plans to keep the secretary in place through the remainder of his term despite it being “not optimal” that the commander in chief and other leaders did not know what happened for so long.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  House Democrat Joins Calls For Austin To Resign