Democratic Representative Robert Garcia introduced a measure Tuesday to force a floor vote on whether to expel serial fabulist George Santos from the House of Representatives.
Santos was charged in federal court last week with 13 counts of various forms of financial fraud. He has pleaded not guilty to all of them. The embattled New York congressman is still facing investigations by local and state authorities. He also confessed last week to stealing checks in Brazil 15 years ago, in return for prosecutors dropping the criminal case against him.
“George Santos is a fraud and a liar, and he needs to be expelled by the House,” Garcia said in a statement Tuesday. “News that federal prosecutors are filing 13 criminal charges against George Santos should have been the final straw for Kevin McCarthy, but he refuses to act. Republicans now have a chance to demonstrate to Americans that an admitted criminal should not serve in the House of Representatives.”
Garcia’s motion is privileged, so House Republicans must schedule a vote on the resolution by Thursday. They have not given any indication yet of when the vote will take place. The resolution will need a two-thirds majority to pass.
Santos is barely six months into his first congressional term, and he is known only for scandal. He appears to have fabricated the bulk of his professional and educational resume. He claimed his mother survived 9/11 (she was not even in the country) and similarly lied that his grandparents fled the Holocaust and four of his employees were killed in the Pulse nightclub shooting. Last week, he was charged for money laundering, wire fraud, and theft of public funds, including claiming Covid-19 unemployment fraud when he wasn’t unemployed.
The resolution to expel him is unlikely to pass, even though the vast majority of his constituents want him gone. Despite a federal indictment for Santos, most Republicans still aren’t calling for his removal from Congress. In fact, Santos has continued to vote on bills and maintains that he will run for reelection.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has so far resisted condemning Santos. The strongest rebuke McCarthy has offered yet was saying last week that he wouldn’t support the freshman congressman’s reelection campaign. But McCarthy and other Republican leaders have avoided saying whether they will force Santos out of Congress, for a very simple reason: They need him.
Republicans hold the House majority by the thinnest of margins, and McCarthy appears to be struggling to get his party to present a united front. He can’t afford to lose a single vote, so if Santos is out, then McCarthy will be in trouble.