The Republican leader has indicated he is unlikely to ask Grimm, R-N.Y., to resign, despite Grimm's being charged with various counts of fraud related to a health-food restaurant chain in Manhattan. Grimm has said he plans to not only remain in his seat -- although he did step down from his position on the House Financial Services Committee -- but also run again for a third term.
Cantor took a harder line against another troubled member of his caucus, La. Rep. Vance McAllister, who was caught on tape kissing an aide.
On Monday, McAllister said he would finish out his term, but not run for reelection, but Tuesday, Cantor urged him to resign immediately.
For their part, Democrats slammed what they saw as a disproportionate response from the GOP leadership.
“Republican leaders made one thing clear today; it is worse to kiss the wrong person in a safe Republican seat than to face a 20-count criminal indictment in a swing district,” said Josh Schwerin, spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, in an emailed statement.
Grimm is accused of concealing about $1 million in gross receipts and hundreds of thousands of dollars in wages to employees at his Healthalicious chain of restaurants, all before his election to Congress in 2011. The former FBI agent is also charged with perjury for allegedly lying about his business practices under oath in 2013.