The New York Republican has been embroiled in scandal since he took office and admitted to fabricating elements of his resume.
The House on Wednesday evening decisively defeated a resolution to expel Rep. George Santos from the chamber in a rare move that risked narrowing the GOP’s thin majority.
Members of the embattled freshman Republican’s own New York delegation filed the resolution to oust Santos, who pleaded not guilty earlier this month to a 23-count criminal indictment accusing him of money laundering, theft of public funds, falsification of records, aggravated identity theft and credit card fraud, among other things. The effort required the backing of two-thirds of the chamber but didn’t even draw a simple majority, going down to defeat 213-179.
Santos has been embroiled in scandal since he took office and admitted to fabricating elements of his resume. Meanwhile, he’s faced numerous calls to step down from across the political spectrum, but he hasn’t relented – pledging to seek reelection to represent New York’s 3rd District in 2024.
House Republicans had been split on how to proceed. Speaker Mike Johnson expressed disapproval of the effort to remove Santos, who has not been convicted of a crime, while some warned that the move sets a dangerous precedent. 269 Images
Just five lawmakers have ever been removed from the House by an expulsion vote, and three of them fought against the union in the Civil War. Santos’ removal would have marked the first member to be removed without being convicted of a crime.
Even so, the group of New York Republicans, who say Santos is not “fit to serve” and have called the issue “not a political one, but a moral one,” introduced the privileged resolution last week – giving House leadership a limited window of time to bring up a vote on the House floor.
“We should let the American people know if a candidate for Congress lies about everything about himself to get their votes, and then that false identity becomes known by his own admission or otherwise, that House Members will expel the fraudster and give voters a timely opportunity to have proper representation,” the group of New York lawmakers wrote in a letter urging colleagues to back the motion to expel Santos.
Earlier this year, under former Speaker Kevin McCarthy, House Republicans were able to skirt a Santos expulsion effort brought by Democrats after Santos was first indicted by federal prosecutors by referring the resolution to the House Ethics Committee. McCarthy had for months refused to step in on the matter, deferring to the committee as it conducts its own investigation.
The committee released a statement on Tuesday outlining its progress in the investigation so far and pledging to provide an update by Nov. 17 on what they see as the next steps, in a move that seemed to be geared toward delaying the expulsion vote or blunting its support.
Source: US News