"I am the speaker," said Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver on Monday of his decision to step aside in his role, rather than step down. "I'm standing. And I'm going to be standing for a long time."
But Gov. Andrew Cuomo and other Democratic elected officials beg to differ.
Following a closed-door session yesterday between Democratic assembly members, a large handful are now criticizing the longtime Speaker's plan to keep his leadership post while temporarily ceding control to a five-lawmaker group. They are giving him until end of day today to make a decision on whether to step down or risk being ousted from his position, The New York Times reports.
More than 20 Assembly Democrats called for Silver to step down, including Cuomo, who also said it would be a "good thing" if a replacement for Silver were to take charge in the Assembly.
"Management by committee I've never been a fan of, and I've never seen it work well," Cuomo said. "From my own selfish point of view, I don't understand how you negotiate with a committee."
Assemblyman Walter Mosley, representing Brooklyn's 57th District, was one of the few dozen Democratic Assembly members calling for Silver's resignation:
"In light of the most recent and ongoing developments, Assemblyman Silver must now resign as Speaker," said Mosley. "Assemblyman Silver's temporary solution of appointing a committee of five to serve as interim Speaker lacks transparency and can quickly lead to crippling confusion and delays in the legislative process.
Likewise, added Mosley, any "deal" that does not have the full and complete participation of the conference cannot be accepted.
More than likely, a final decision about what will happen with Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver will be made before the end of the day today.
"The government has to work," said Cuomo at a news conference in Manhattan regarding Silver's temporary step-aside, adding, "And the distraction of what's going on with the speaker, it hurts the functioning of government."