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Topics: House Republicans

Eric Cantor tells 'kissing congressman' Vance McAllister to resign

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House Majority Leader Eric Cantor told disgraced Rep. Vance McAllister -- embroiled in scandal after the Louisiana Republican was caught on camera kissing a female staffer -- he should resign immediately, according to a published report.

McAllister, who is married with children, on Monday announced he won't seek re-election this year because of the scandal but that he will serve out his term, which expires in early January.

But Cantor, R-Va., told Politico that wasn't good enough.

"I did just meet with [McAllister], I asked to meet with him,” Cantor said in a hallway interview, the paper reported. "When we took the majority, I had said that I believe we ought to hold ourselves to a higher standard. And I think what has happened in his instance doesn’t meet that standard. So I told him that I thought he should resign.”

McAllister, 40, initially said he would stay in office after a video surfaced earlier this month showing him kissing a married female staffer, who has since resigned.

But he was pressured immediately to step down by prominent Louisiana Republicans, including Gov. Bobby Jindal, who called his behavior an embarrassment, and state party Chairman Roger Villere.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, while not outright calling for McAllister's resignation, said earlier this month the lawmaker has "got decisions that he has to make."

"I expect all members [of Congress] to be held to the highest ethical standards, and this is no different," Boehner said.

McAllister, a political newcomer serving his first term in Congress, showcased his family and Christian faith during his 2013 special election campaign. In one commercial his wife, Kelly, and their five children vowed he would "defend our Christian way of life" if elected.

Kelly McAllister said the couple's marriage remains intact and that she "100 percent" supports her husband, the Monroe, La., News Star reported Monday.

Cantor, meanwhile, hasn't called for the resignation of Republican Rep. Michael Grimm of New York, who was indicted Monday by a federal grand jury on tax evasion charges.

A source close to Cantor said he hasn't demanded Grimm step down because the New Yorker has denied the accusations against him and might be innocent.

In the meantime, Grimm has resigned from the powerful House Financial Services Committee to avoid conflicts of interest.

This article was originally published at 4:55 p.m. and has been updated.

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Author:

Sean Lengell

Congressional Correspondent
The Washington Examiner