Will Anthony Weiner be able to keep his seat?

Andrew Burton

Updated 1:15 p.m. ET

After a week of dodging questions about his online activities, Democratic Rep. Anthony Weiner came clean Monday and admitted to cavorting over the phone and through social media with a half dozen women he says he never met.

But he vowed not to step down, even though the transgressions are seemingly more serious than the single photo that caused New York Rep. Chris Lee to resign in February. (Lee abruptly quit after just one shirtless photo emerged and before he lied about it repeatedly.)

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi did an about face, within minutes of his admission calling for the House ethics committee to look into whether Weiner broke any rules of the House of Representatives.

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The question now is whether the tearful apology to his wife will be enough to let Weiner continue to represent the citizens of the 9th District of New York in Congress?

Weiner hopes so. But his aspirations to be mayor of New York could be gone.

"I think his chances of running for Mayor are zero. It's pretty simple. He was the frontrunner until two weeks ago" for the 2013 election to replace Mayor Michael Bloomberg, said Chris Smith, a political columnist for New York magazine.

Weiner told reporters on Monday he did not break the rules of the House. But in the same breath he said "this was me doing a dumb thing and doing it repeatedly and then lying about it."

The rules state that members "shall behave at all times in a manner that shall reflect creditably on the House."  It's hard to see how sending photos of your underwear to 40-some thousand followers on Twitter and lying about it reflects creditably on the House.

The ethics panel is not required to take up the case on Pelosi's recommendation, though it is expected to do so. While some form of rebuke is almost a certainty, outright expulsion is unlikely as the House has kicked out just five of its members.

Whether or not there is an ethics investigation, the chairman of the Republican National Committee sought to increase pressure on Weiner by calling for his resignation on Tuesday.

"Congressman Weiner's actions and deception are unacceptable and he should resign. We do not need an investigation to know he lied and acted inappropriately, we need a resignation," RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement.

Further complicating Weiner's road ahead is the fact that the New York state population declined in the 2010 Census, leaving the Empire state with two fewer seats in the House of Representatives in 2012.

Lawmakers in Albany could also simply redistrict Weiner out of a job.

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  • Corbett Daly On Twitter»

    CBSNews.com Deputy Politics Editor Corbett B. Daly is based in Washington. He has worked at Reuters, Thomson Financial News and CBS MarketWatch.

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