Rep. Vance McAllister (R-La.) said Tuesday that he would not resign from the House, despite pressure from GOP leadership.
McAllister, who has been embroiled in controversy since he was caught on video kissing a female staffer, said that leaving the House would leave his district without a lawmaker for the second time in short order.
McAllister, who is married with five children, announced on Monday that he would not seek reelection in November.
The congressman and a spokesman for Majority Leader Eric CantorEric CantorTrump allies warn: No compromise on immigration Chamber of Commerce overhauls lobbying operation Laura Ingraham under consideration for White House press secretary MORE (R-Va.) confirmed that Cantor told the Louisiana Republican he should resign in a Tuesday meeting.
McAllister had a different assessment of the conversation, saying in a statement that Cantor had asked him why he “would want to put [himself] through this for the next eight months” if he’s decided not to run for reelection
But he again declared in the statement that he doesn’t want to leave Louisiana’s 5th District without representation, or subject the district’s residents to “an expensive potential special election that benefits the establishment.”
Speaking to reporters off the House floor, McAllister also brushed aside comparisons between himself and another embattled GOP lawmaker, Rep. Michael Grimm (N.Y.).
Grimm is currently under criminal indictment on charges of fraud and perjury, but Republican leaders like Cantor and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) have not yet pressured him to resign.
“I don’t think Mr. Grimm has anything to do with me,” McAllister said.
Cantor confirmed the conversation to reporters, saying "I told him I thought he should resign. Listen, I just think when we took the majority in 2010, I said that we should hold ourselves to a higher standard. That's why I did what I did and told him I thought he should resign, because in my mind what happened does not meet that high standard."
Cantor has not called on Grimm to resign despite his pending trial, telling The Hill on Monday that the congressman's withdrawal from the Financial Services Committee was "appropriate," but he should have his day in court.
Asked whether McAllister's conduct was worse than Grimm's, Cantor said, "As far as Mr. Grimm is concerned, I think he's got to make his case to his constituents, and he'll have to make his case in court."
Cantor is expected to meet privately with Grimm on Wednesday but is not expected to ask him to step down.
A Cantor aide noted the two cases were completely separate and that, while McAllister has admitted wrongdoing, Grimm is proclaiming his innocence.
— Alexandra Jaffe contributed.
— This post was updated at 4:50 p.m.