The No. 2 Republican in the House on Monday called on Democratic leaders to remove colleague Rep. Anthony Weiner from his committee posts if the disgraced lawmaker doesn’t resign in the wake of his ongoing sexual scandal.
“I called on him to resign — I called on him to resign early, because I think that this kind of behavior is unacceptable, the way that his leaders now have called on him to resign,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia told reporters at the Capitol. “I’m hoping that they will begin to move — if he does not resign — towards things like perhaps stripping him of his committees.”
Mr. Cantor suggested the Weiner scandal has been a distraction as Congress grapples with serious issues such as raising the nation’s debt limit.
“I don’t think that we have time for this. We’ve obviously had a lot of other issues to be concerned with,” he said.
Mr. Weiner, who was re-elected in November to a seventh term with 61 percent of the vote, serves on the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee.
The married Brooklyn Democrat, who has admitted to sending lewd photos and exchanging sexually charged messages on the Internet, has rejected calls to resign. He has said he will seek “professional help” and will ask for a leave of absence, despite calls from many in his party that he quit.
Mr. Cantor, when asked by a reporter if he thinks House leadership should deny Mr. Weiner’s request for a leave of absence, evaded the question.
“Members have a right to do whatever. But I think I’ve said enough on this,” he said. “I think he should resign. I think his leaders should do everything they can to bring him to that point, if he’s not [there] already.”