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In the wake of news that Republicans in New York called for gay GOP Rep. George Santos to resign, Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy said the congressman shouldn't be appointed to influential committees, while Santos said he would not leave.
On his way to a Republican Steering Committee meeting, McCarthy responded no to a question asking whether Santos should be seated on any influential committees, NBC News reports.
McCarthy's response comes as pressure mounts around Santos. Nassau County Republicans insisted Wednesday that the congressman resign, calling him "disgraced." They included Rep. Anthony D'Esposito, who represents a nearby New York district.
For his part, Santos, who voted for Kevin McCarthy to become speaker 15 times, appears to be defiant.
The embattled representative went to Twitter to express his intention to stay where he is.
"I was elected to serve the people of #NY03 not the party & politicians, I remain committed to doing that and regret to hear that local officials refuse to work with my office to deliver results to keep our community safe and lower the cost of living. I will NOT resign!" he wrote.
\u201cI was elected to serve the people of #NY03 not the party & politicians, I remain committed to doing that and regret to hear that local officials refuse to work with my office to deliver results to keep our community safe and lower the cost of living.\n\nI will NOT resign!\u201d— George Santos (@George Santos) 1673460062
Some critics argue that Santos's participation on committees could be dangerous for national security.
Several Republicans support McCarthy's assertion that keeping the serial fabulist off classified committees would be best.
Meanwhile, Democrats have urged the Republican speaker and the rest of the GOP leadership not to seat Santos at all.
Santos "probably shouldn't be on Intelligence or [House Armed Services Committee]," a House Republican with experience handling classified information told NBC News. However, he added that the Small Business Committee "would be fine."
In the past, Republicans have stripped their members of committee assignments over other controversies. For example, in 2019, Rep. Steve King of Iowa was stripped of his committee assignments after making racist remarks.
In 2021, the House of Representatives, then led by Democratic Speaker Nancy Pelosi, stripped Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of her committee assignments following comments she made that included endorsing violence against Democrats.
No announcements on committee assignments regarding Santos have been made.
The Advocate has reached out to representatives for McCarthy and Santos and will update this story when a response is received.