Democrat Starts Official Clock for Santos Expulsion Vote

Democrat Starts Official Clock for Santos Expulsion Vote – Democratic critics of Rep. George Santos, known for their strong opposition, have formally initiated a new effort to expel him, marking the most significant challenge yet for the indicted lawmaker. The motion, spearheaded by Representatives Robert Garcia (D-Calif.) and Dan Goldman (D-N.Y.), requires the House to decide on expulsion within two legislative days. 

This timeline aligns closely with the release of a bipartisan House Ethics Committee report, published about two weeks ago, which substantiated “sufficient evidence” of Santos’ criminal misconduct. “The time has finally come to remove George Santos from Congress. If we’re going to restore faith in government, we must start with restoring integrity in the U.S. House of Representatives,” Garcia said in a statement.

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While the probability of their endeavor succeeding is low, given Republicans’ reluctance to oust a fellow party member based on a Democratic resolution, it does exert pressure on House Ethics Committee Chair Michael Guest (R-Miss.). He has initiated his own expulsion resolution, although not through the expedited voting process. 

Guest, however, has indicated to a news outlet that he intends to follow through with the rapid voting procedure. On Tuesday night, Guest stated that he anticipates his resolution to undergo a vote sometime this week, although he’s uncertain about the specific day. He also mentioned that he doesn’t “fault” Garcia for advancing the separate proposal.

As per two sources acquainted with a Tuesday afternoon Republican leadership gathering, there are no current plans for House Republican leadership to instruct their members on the Santos expulsion vote. “It’s our understanding that the speaker and George have had conversations up until recently — even an hour ago — about the right thing possibly for him to do would be for him to examine the position and resign,” said Rep. Kevin Hern (R-Okla.). 

Johnson didn’t say explicitly he had urged Santos to resign, Hern added, but said that it would save people from having to take “tough votes.” Santos, in response, has condemned his critics and expressed his readiness to confront the expulsion vote instead of resigning. The last expulsion from Congress occurred in 2002 when Ohio Democrat Rep. Jim Traficant was ousted following his federal corruption conviction.

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For expulsion, a two-thirds majority in the House is necessary. An increasing number of lawmakers from both parties, who had initially opposed removing Santos, are now indicating their support for expulsion. “I think Santos is a crook,” said Rep. Dusty Johnson (R-S.D.), who said he hoped Santos would resign. “It’s an easy vote to expel for me.”

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This move represents the second endeavor by Democrats to expel Santos from Congress, following an earlier attempt that was referred to the House Ethics panel in May. In October, New York Republicans prompted another vote, gathering increased Republican backing but ultimately falling short.

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