33-year-old rising GOP star quits after scandals

Aaron SchockKris Connor/Getty ImagesAaron Schock in 2010.

Embattled Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Illinois) is going to resign.

Politico’s Jake Sherman broke the news in a tweet on Tuesday. Sherman suggested the congressman’s imminent resignation is related to questions about his use of taxpayer funds to pay for travel expenses he incurred while driving a nearly $US75,000 SUV he paid for with campaign cash.

A source close to the congressman subsequently confirmed his intention to resign to Business Insider.

Schock, 33, became the first member of the US Congress who was born in the 1980’s when he took office in 2009. He was widely considered a Republican rising star. However, in recent months Schock, an erstwhile Republican rising star, has become mired in a series of scandals over his finances.

Politico published a statement from Schock wherein he said his resignation will take effect 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 traveled to all corners of the District to meet with the people I’ve been fortunate to be able to call my friends and neighbours,” Schock said.

The congressman’s issues began last month with a report in the Washington Post that revealed Schock gave his office on Capitol Hill an elaborate makeover that was inspired by the television show “Downton Abbey.” Questions were subsequently raised about the cost of the makeover as well as his expenses on travel, entertainment, and even an apparently expensive podium he used for official events.

In the statement published by Politico, Schock described the ethical questions about his finances as an overwhelming “distraction.”

“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,” he said. “I have always sought to do what’s best for my constituents and I thank them for the opportunity to serve.”

Schock’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider on Tuesday.

Additional reporting by Michael Kelley

NOW WATCH: Here’s what it takes to be President Obama’s right-hand man

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.