House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia said Tuesday that embattled Rep. Vance McAllister was right to apologize to his constituents, but did not say whether the freshman Louisiana lawmaker would face repercussions within the Republican Conference.
“I think that his constituents deserve an apology. [That’s] why he gave an apology,” Cantor said. “I’ve not had a chance to speak to the congressman, so I’m going to reserve further judgment on the question. I will say the American people deserve all the representatives here in Washington to hold to a very high standard of behavior.”
A video posted online Monday allegedly shows the congressman kissing a staffer in his Louisiana district office. McAllister issued an apology after the video appeared, but a wide field of would-be successors are already jockeying for consideration for the seat, should the 40-year-old lawmaker choose to step down.
National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Greg Walden, R-Ore., who helps elect Republicans to the House, declined to comment on whether McAllister should resign.
Republican Study Committee Chairman Steve Scalise of Louisiana said McAllister must deal with the situation, but declined to say anything further.
"I haven't seen what's all happened," Scalise said Tuesday in the Capitol. "I mean I think he's put out a statement. But he's going to have to answer that immediately. It's something that he's dealing with right now, and I don't have all the information."
McAllister skipped two roll call votes in the House Monday night.
Related stories: 8 Things to Know About Rep.-Elect Vance McAllister Vance McAllister Kissing Video Could Prompt Flood of GOP Challengers McAllister, Caught on Tape With Staffer, Asks for 'Forgiveness'