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Republican Refusal to Expel Rep. George Santos Infuriates Democrats

Republican Refusal to Expel Rep. George Santos Infuriates Democrats

Reps. Eric Sorensen, Robert Garcia and Daniel Goldman

Democrats criticized their GOP colleagues for failing to vote out the embattled New York congressman.

The House of Representatives on Wednesday referred the question of whether Rep. George Santos should be expelled from Congress to the Ethics Committee rather than directly answering it.

By a vote of 221-204, the chamber sent the resolution to the Ethics panel, which has been investigating Santos since March amid questions about his background, finances, and allegations of sexual misconduct. Additionally, the committee is investigating whether he failed to disclose information correctly during the 2022 campaign.

Apart from five Democrats on the Ethics Committee who voted present, the remaining votes fell along party lines.

Rep. Robert Garcia, the first gay immigrant elected to Congress, introduced the expulsion resolution in February, but it was brought to the floor as a privileged resolution one week after Santos was indicted. After the measure was introduced, Speaker McCarthy had two legislative days to act.

In the end, McCarthy sent the resolution to the Ethics Committee for consideration, requiring a simple majority vote. Alternatively, he could have tabled the measure, which would also require half-chamber support, or brought the expulsion resolution to the floor for a vote, which would have required a two-thirds majority.

“It is a complete cop-out to have a redundant motion to refer a resolution to an Ethics Committee that is already investigating this,” said Rep. Dan Goldman of New York, a co-filer of the ethics complaint filed against Santos earlier this year.

“We should not refer this matter to the Ethics Committee, this resolution is already there,” Garcia told reporters. “Now, every Republican should stand up and join us to defend this body and expel George Santos.”

As a consequence of McCarthy’s decision to refer the resolution to the Ethics committee rather than bring it to the floor, Republicans — particularly those from New York — were able to support Santos’ tenure while not voting against their GOP colleagues.

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