From NBC's Domenico Montanaro and Carrie Dann
President-elect Obama's incoming chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, will officially resign his congressional seat on Friday.
He alerted constituents in Illinois' fifth congressional district in Chicago by automated message and wrote a letter to embattled Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. (The full text of both after the jump.)
For a resigned Senate seat, like Obama's, in Illinois, the governor would appoint a successor. That is not the case for a congressional seat. For a U.S. House seat, there would be a special election. The governor would, however, be responsible for setting a date for that special election within five days of when the representative steps down.
It certainly complicates matters with Blagojevich the subject of state legislative and federal investigations over the governor allegedly trying to sell Obama's Senate seat.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, December 29, 2008
Emanuel Reaches Out to 5th Congressional District
CHICAGO, IL -Today U.S. Representative Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) released the following text of an automated call to the constituents of the 5th Congressional District. Emanuel will officially resign his Congressional seat on Friday January 2, 2009. The text of his resignation letter is attached.
"This is Congressman Rahm Emanuel. As you may have heard, President-elect Obama has asked me to be his new Chief of Staff and I have accepted this offer. Therefore, in the near future, I will be resigning from Congress. I wanted to let you to know that, in the interim, both the Washington, DC and Chicago offices will be open and staff will be available to assist you with any casework issues. If you have any questions or concerns about pending legislation or need help in dealing with Federal government agencies, please do not hesitate to call the office at 773-267-5926. I also want you to know, it has been a privilege and an honor to serve as your Representative for the last six years. Thank you for the opportunity and thank you for your confidence. This is Rahm Emanuel."
Letter to Blagojevich:
January 2, 2009
The Honorable Rod Blagojevich
Governor, State of Illinois
Springfield, IL 62706
Dear Governor Blagojevich:
I am writing to resign my position as United States Representative from the Fifth Congressional District of Illinois, effective January 2, 2009.
It has been a tremendous privilege to serve the people of the Fifth District over the past six years. I am grateful for the opportunity to represent the hopes and dreams of a quintessentially American district, from hardworking families to new immigrants to the senior citizens who built this great country. It has been my particular privilege to represent the district's many military troops and veterans, who put their lives on the line to protect the values we cherish. Their sense of duty and sacrifice has been an inspiration, which I will carry with me to my new duties as chief of staff to President-elect Barack Obama.
As sons of immigrants to this country, you and I have a deep appreciation for the opportunities America provides to those who are willing to work hard and sacrifice for their children. As a member of the next Administration in Washington, I will strive to maintain and expand that opportunity for all families, because the chance to work hard and build a better life is the principle that unites all Americans. Over the past few years, our government in Washington has lost sight of that principle by catering to the wealthiest Americans and powerful special interests - leaving middle-class Americans to struggle with rising health care costs, reduced pensions and a collapsing economy. The recent election was a clarion call for a change in direction, so we can recapture the values that have made our nation a beacon of hope and opportunity.
As I go to work everyday in the incoming Obama Administration, I will keep in mind the stories of the working families and senior citizens who I met during the past six years in grocery stores, schools and churches across the Fifth District. I will strive to make our government work for them and their children, because that is the true measure of our success as a nation.
With gratitude and best wishes.
Member of Congress