Republican Aaron Schock has announced that he intends to resign from Congress – after coming under fire for not disclosing a male companion on a trip.
Mr Schock, one of the youngest congressmen to sit in the House of Representatives, has faced continued scrutiny about his financial arrangements over the past two months.
It emerged last week that Schock – who has consistently opposed gay rights – violated House rules by bringing his “full-time personal photographer”, Jonathon Link, on a business trip to India without disclosing him on his payroll.
The congressman, who also faced questions about the handling of donor funds and the amount of travel expenses he had claimed, stepped down ahead of an investigation by the Office of Congressional Ethics.
He said: “Today, I am announcing my resignation as a Member of the United States House of Representatives effective March 31.
“I do this with a heavy heart. Serving the people of the 18th District is the highest and greatest honour I have had in my life.
“I thank them for their faith in electing me and letting me represent their interests in Washington. I have given them my all over the last six years.
“I have travelled to all corners of the District to meet with the people I’ve been fortunate to be able to call my friends and neighbours.”
“But the constant questions over the last six weeks have proven a great distraction that has made it too difficult for me to serve the people of the 18th District with the high standards that they deserve and which I have set for myself.
“I have always sought to do what’s best for my constituents and I thank them for the opportunity to serve.”