For the sixth time in history, the US House of Representatives expelled one of its members. The majority of Republicans joined most of the minority members of the Democratic Party on Friday morning (1/12) in agreeing to dismiss George Santos, a Republican from New York in his first term in the US House of Representatives.
The US House of Representatives Ethics Committee recently issued a report finding strong evidence that Santos broke the law. Federal investigators charged Santos with fraud, money laundering, stealing the identities of campaign donors, falsifying campaign finance reports, and many other offenses.
Santos has pleaded not guilty to the 23 federal charges he faces. He came under intense scrutiny and ridicule after it was revealed that he had fabricated his educational, career and family background.
With a tap of the gavel, House Speaker Mike Johnson officially announced that 311 members of the US House of Representatives had voted in favor of Santos’ dismissal. Meanwhile, 114 Republican lawmakers voted against his removal, and two other Democrats voted in favor of a majority vote.
“A two-thirds vote in favor, the resolution is adopted,” Mike Johnson, the Republican speaker of the US House of Representatives, told Congress.
“The Clerk of the US House of Representatives will notify the governor of the state of New York of this House decision. “Based on clause 5-D of article 20, the Speaker of the DPR announced to the DPR the expulsion of the man from New York, Mr. Santos, so the total number of DPR members is now (reduced) to 434.”
Several members of the US House of Representatives applauded after the historic event.
Santos muttered to a reporter “to hell with this place,” as he left the capitol for the final time.
“This (the dismissal) should not have happened,” said Anthony D’Esposito, a Republican member of the House of Representatives from New York who supported Santos’ dismissal, as he left the courtroom. “George Santos should have the courage to take responsibility. He should resign.”
Rep. Nick Lalota, also a New York Republican, told reporters, “It’s time we move on from George Santos.”
Santos has become the butt of jokes by comedians throughout the United States. He gave them a lot of ‘stuff they thought was funny’ after it was revealed that he had made a lot of wild claims that turned out to be untrue.
His claims include, among other things, claiming to have been a volleyball star as a college student, having worked at a top investment bank and managed to amass wealth, and that his mother had been in the World Trade Center building during the 9/11 terror attacks. Santos also claimed to be a descendant of Holocaust survivors, another lie that angered voters in a district that is 20 percent Jewish.
Santos then tried to explain away the lie, explaining that he was “Jew-ish,” not a true Jew.
This only adds to (his constituents’) disgust and strengthens calls for him to ‘resign from office’.
“This is a huge victory for the citizens of New York’s 3rd District who are finally free from the lies of a lawmaker who cheated the system to line his pockets and cupboards,” said Rahna Epting, executive director of the progressive political action group MoveOn, which has pushed for the congressman to resign or be expelled .
With Santos out of Congress, Republicans retain a slim four-seat majority in the House with the next general election 11 months away. A special election is expected to be held early next year in New York’s 3rd District to replace Santos.
Democrats are determined to flip New York’s 3rd district Congressional seat to their side. President Joe Biden in 2020 won the district by more than 10 percent. (es/pp)