On Wednesday, the House debated whether Rep. George Santos (R-NY) needed to be removed from Congress.
In a 221-204-7 vote, the chamber decided to refer an expulsion resolution to the Ethics Committee. The move was considered to be redundant but it did allow Republican House members to not have to take a position on the matter. The Ethics Committee has been investigating Santos since March following the revelations about the fabrications of his background and resume as well as the revelations about his finances. The committee is specifically investigating whether Santos has been involved in unlawful activity during his 2022 campaign and if he had failed to properly disclose any information to the House.
The five Democrats on the Ethics Committee – Susan Wild (PA), Glenn Ivey (MD), Veronica Escobar (TX), Deborah Ross (NC), Mark DeSaulnier (CA), as well as Reps. Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) and Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (D-WA) – all voted present, while the rest of the votes fell along party lines.
Santos did vote with Republicans that the resolution needed to be sent to the Ethics Committee and even told reporters after the vote that this was the procedure in this country and that everyone was innocent until proven guilty. The congressman proceeded to state that he would continue to cooperate with the panel’s requests and that if the committee decided that he needed to resign then he would comply with that decision.
He proceeded to state that while he would comply with the committee’s decision, he was going to continue fighting in order to clear his name.
The expulsion resolution was introduced by Rep. Robert Garcia (D-CA) in February but on Tuesday decided to call the measure to the floor as a privileged resolution. This decision was made almost a week after Santos was indicted on federal charges, which led to Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) being forced to move the measure ahead within such a short time frame.