Democrats force vote on expelling George Santos
Democrats have taken steps to force a vote on expelling New York Republican George Santos from Congress.
The freshman congressman has been charged with embezzling money from his campaign, falsely receiving unemployment funds and lying to Congress about his finances.
He has denied the charges and pleaded not guilty.
Robert Garcia, a California Democrat., introduced a resolution in February to expel Santos, something the House has only done twice in recent decades and requires the approval of a two-thirds majority. He brought the measure on Tuesday to the House floor under a process that gives politicians until Thursday to dispense with it.
"I wanted him to resign. We gave him plenty of time to do it," Garcia said in a statement.
"George Santos is a fraud and a liar, and he needs to be expelled by the House. Republicans now have a chance to demonstrate to Americans that an admitted criminal should not serve in the House of Representatives."
Santos's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Santos, despite the federal charges he's facing, is moving forward with his plans to seek re-election and has previously defied calls for his resignation.
"This is the beginning of the ability for me to address and defend myself," Santos told reporters following his indictment.
Republican leaders have said Santos deserves to have his day in court before Congress weighs in. The position Republican leaders have staked out generally follows the precedent that Congress has set in similar criminal cases over the years. The House has expelled just two members in recent decades, and both votes occurred after the politician had been convicted on federal charges.
McCarthy said he would reach out to House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries about referring the resolution to the Ethics Committee, which already has initiated an investigation into whether Santos engaged in unlawful activity regarding his congressional campaign.
"I think we can look at it very quickly and come to a conclusion on what George Santos did and did not do," McCarthy told reporters.
Democrats are looking to tie Santos to the Republican brand, particularly in key swing districts, and began messaging the effort to expel him as giving New Yorkers the "honest representation they deserve."