California Rep. Robert Garcia announced on Tuesday that he would force a vote on a resolution to expel New York Rep. George Santos from Congress.
By making a privileged motion, the first out gay immigrant elected to Congress will force the full House to vote on the resolution, which could lead to the expulsion of Santos, the first out gay Republican elected to Congress while publicly out. The vote could happen within two days.
“I rise to give notice of my intent to raise a question of the privileges of the House,” Garcia said from the chamber’s floor. “The form of the resolution is as follows: House Resolution 114 resolved that pursuant to Article One, section five, clause two of the Constitution of the United States Representative George Santos, be and hereby is expelled from the House of Representatives. Thank you.”
During the introduction of his effort on the House floor, Garcia was joined by Illinois Rep. Eric Sorensen and Vermont’s Rep. Becca Balint, two other first-year LGBTQ+ lawmakers. Sorensen and Balint were both original co-sponsors of the resolution. Garcia originally authored the bill.
“George Santos is a fraud and a liar, and he needs to be expelled by the House. 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 said in a statement to The Advocate.
Balint joined Garcia’s sentiment, adding, “Democracies don’t die overnight; they erode slowly as we degrade our ethical standards and turn away from our values. The Republican party’s defense of this proven liar who’s been indicted on 13 criminal charges is a sign of the deteriorating health of our government. Americans want to have faith in our democracy, but with trust in government at an all-time low, it’s critical we take action to restore that trust. Today, we’re calling on Members of conscience to stand up for truth and finally expel George Santos.”
According to Sorensen, the basic principle of politics is to trust that one’s representatives are working for the benefit of their constituents.
“Our neighbors should expect that they can trust their elected representatives to serve them and not their personal interests,” he said. “Anyone who has failed to maintain that level of trust is a stain on the House’s credibility. To protect this institution, it is important we act.”
Garcia tweeted about his call for Santos’s expulsion.
“I’m starting the process of forcing a floor vote on our resolution to expel George Santos from the U.S. House of Representatives,” he wrote. “Republicans will now have a chance to demonstrate to the American people that an admitted liar and criminal should not serve in Congress.”
Santos was charged earlier this month with 13 federal charges, including seven counts of wire fraud, three counts of money laundering, one charge of theft of public funds, and two counts of making materially false statements to the House of Representatives.
Additionally, in an agreement with Brazilian authorities, Santos admitted to using a fake name and stolen checkbook to purchase goods in Brazil in 2008. This month, he was ordered to pay nearly $5,000 in restitution.
According to Santos, he fabricated details about his past and lied about his education and employment history.
He also falsely claimed to have lost four employees in the 2016 Pulse Nightclub shooting and his mother in the 9/11 attack. In addition to lying about his family’s involvement in the Holocaust, the embattled lawmaker also falsely claimed to be Jewish.
The Advocate did not immediately hear back from a spokesperson for Santos.
Expelling Santos would require a two-thirds majority in the House.