Rep. George Santos is facing a vote on his expulsion from Congress as lawmakers weigh accusations
WASHINGTON (AP) — Rep. George Santos of New York is facing a critical vote to expel him from the House on Friday as lawmakers weigh whether his actions, fabrications and alleged lawbreaking warrant the chamber’s most severe punishment.
The first-term Republican congressman is at grave risk of becoming just the sixth member of the House to be ousted by colleagues. Expulsion requires support from two-third of the House, a purposefully high bar, but a blistering House Ethics Committee report released on Nov. 16 that accused Santos of breaking federal law may prove decisive.
“I will not stand by quietly,” Santos declared on the House floor Thursday as lawmakers debated his removal. “The people of the Third District of New York sent me here. If they want me out, you’re going to have to go silence those people and go take the hard vote.”
Of the previous expulsions in the House, three were for disloyalty to the Union during the Civil War. The remaining two occurred after the lawmakers were convicted of crimes in federal court. Santos made his case for remaining in office by appealing directly to lawmakers who worry they are setting a new precedent that could make expulsions more common.
House Speaker Mike Johnson is among those who has voiced concerns about removing Santos, though he has told members to vote their conscience. But some Republicans, including Santos’ colleagues from New York, said voters will welcome lawmakers being held to a higher standard.
“I’m pretty confident the American people would applaud that. I’m pretty confident that the American people expect that, and I hope that tomorrow, in this great chamber, we set that precedent,” said Republican Rep. Anthony D’Esposito, whose district adjoins Santos’.
Santos warned lawmakers they would regret removing a member before they have had their day in court.
“This will haunt them in the future where mere allegations are sufficient to have members removed from office when duly elected by their people in their respective states and districts,” Santos said.
The expulsion push is just the latest chapter in what has been a spectacular fall from grace for Santos, a first-term lawmaker initially celebrated as an