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Congressional Dems are launching an effort to remove George Santos from Congress

By Ben Marquis
|
February 10, 2023

Freshman Republican Rep. George Santos (NY-03) stands accused of being a serial fabulist who is alleged to have blatantly lied about or wildly exaggerated various aspects of his background and history during the 2022 midterm elections campaign.

Now a group of House Democrats has moved beyond merely criticizing Santos or demanding that he resign, and have actually filed legislation to have him expelled from Congress altogether, The Hill reported.

The prospects of success for that effort seem rather slim, however, given the fact that Republicans maintain majority control of the House, even as some members of the GOP caucus have similarly suggested that Santos ought not to continue to be a member of the legislative body.

Resolution filed to expel Santos from Congress

The effort by House Democrats to expel Rep. Santos from Congress is led by Rep. Robert Garcia (CA-42), who announced in a press release on Thursday that he had filed a resolution that, if passed, would result in the removal of Santos from Congress.

"George Santos has no place in Congress. He has lied about the horrific Pulse massacre, his connections to the Holocaust and 9/11, his qualifications for office, and faces serious campaign finance violations that he has recently all but admitted to," Garcia said in the statement. "His continued pattern of fraud and deception is especially worrisome to our own LGBTQ+ community, and it’s time we act and immediately expel him from Congress."

Garcia was joined in introducing the measure by co-sponsor Reps. Becca Balint (VT-AL) and Eric Sorenson (IL-17), as well as Rep. Daniel Goldman (NY-10), according to The Hill.

"Members of Congress should be held to the highest standards of honesty and integrity," Balint said in a statement. "It is clear that George Santos does not live up to these standards or believe in those values."

"His membership in the House is a distraction from the urgent issues we were sent here to tackle, one of which is to restore faith in our democracy," she added. "How can Americans trust in the integrity of our government while we normalize lying and deception for political gain? The continued erosion of our integrity comes at a high cost. The House must take action and expel George Santos."

Two-thirds majority necessary for expulsion

The resolution filed by Rep. Garcia is simple and straight to the point, as it literally contains just a single four-line sentence that calls for the removal of Rep. Santos.

It reads: "Resolved, That, pursuant to Article I, Section 5, Clause 2 of the Constitution of the United States, Representative George Santos, be, and he hereby is, expelled from the House of Representatives."

For the record, Article I, Section 5, Clause 2 of the U.S. Constitution states: "Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behaviour, and, with the Concurrence of two thirds, expel a Member."

That threshold of two-thirds of members being in concurrence to effectuate an expulsion of a member of Congress will likely prove too high for House Democrats to clear, as The Hill noted that they would need to convince almost 80 Republicans to cross the aisle and join them to reach 290 members in concurrence, and while they might pick up a handful of Santos' GOP critics, they will likely fall far short of what is necessary.

Leadership not on board with removal demands

Rep. Santos has been accused of embellishing or lying about a wide variety of things, from his prior education and employment to his family's heritage and history to even his own sexual orientation.

Numerous Democrats, as well as a few Republicans, have repeatedly slammed Santos and demanded that he resign in shame after some of his purported fabrications began to be exposed by various media outlets in a series of increasingly damning articles.

However, despite the overt pressure campaign against Santos – and really all Republicans by extension – Republican House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (CA-20) has refused to join in and suggested instead that any decision on the embattled freshman congressman's political future was one that only his constituents should make.

The Hill noted that even Democratic House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (NY-08), who has labeled Santos as a "total fraud" and a problem that "Republicans need to handle," has not yet signed on in support of the measure, albeit only because he hasn't yet taken a brief moment to read the straightforward single-sentence resolution.

This effort to expel Santos from Congress will almost assuredly fail, but the odds are good that House Democrats will not accept that failure and will figure out new and varied ways to try to achieve their goal of ousting him from the legislative body