House Majority Leader Eric Cantor on Monday urged Democrats to strip Rep. Anthony Weiner of his committee assignments and to generally increase pressure on the scandal-plagued lawmaker if he continues to resist calls for resignation.
"I've called on him to resign. I called on him to resign early," Cantor said during his weekly meeting with reporters. "I'd hope ... they'd move towards stripping him of his committees."
Weiner is not a ranking member of any committee or subcommittee, though he is a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee. Democrats could remove him from the committee, but they have few other options short of formally expelling him from their Caucus. Last weekend, top party leaders, including Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, called the New York Democrat and privately urged him to resign. Pelosi and others later went public with that request when Weiner refused to go.
"I think his leaders should do everything they can to bring him to that point, if he's not there already," Cantor added.
Weiner as soon as today is expected to formally request a leave of absence from the House, which would allow him to not attend sessions but still receive his pay.
Lois Lerner, director of exempt organizations for the IRS, arrives for a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on the investigation of the IRS' targeting of political groups. Lerner invoked her Fifth Amendment right to not testify and caused a protest from some committee members when she offered an opening statement and engaged in dialogue with members before invoking the right.
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