May 31, 2023

Democrats called on Tuesday to force a vote within days to remove New York Representative George Santos from Congress, an effort to pressure Republicans to expel a serial liar in their ranks indicted on allegations of banking fraud, money laundering, supporting or abandoning. steal public funds and lie to the government.

The measure has little chance of succeeding in the Republican-led House, where a two-thirds supermajority would be needed. But by bringing it up, Democrats increased pressure on Republicans to take a stand on Mr. Santos’ conduct.

“This is an opportunity to hold him accountable,” California Democrat Representative Robert Garcia said Tuesday after he stood up in the House to call for his resolution to remove Mr. Santos from Congress. “The Republicans in the House are going to have to actually get caught up and make a decision about whether they’re actually going to stand for truth and accountability, or whether they’re going to stand with someone who’s clearly a liar.”

Mr. Garcia, who presented the resolution to evict Mr. Santos in February, told reporters his decision to go ahead now had the backing of Representative Hakeem Jeffries, New York Democrat and minority leader. Under House rules, the motion is privileged, meaning Speaker Kevin McCarthy must get rid of it within two days.

With a vote now expected before the end of the week, Republicans could try to evade the resolution by going to the table, killing it or delaying it — both of which would see support from a House majority. to get.

Even with more than 10 House Republicans publicly calling for Santos to resign, the measure is unlikely to gain the support it needs. But it will force leading Republicans, who have said Mr. Santos should be allowed to continue serving, to decide how aggressively to defend him. It will present a particularly fraught dilemma for many members of the New York delegation, who have made it clear for months that they want Mr. Santos to resign and will now have to decide whether to break with their leaders and vote for his impeachment.

Since Mr. Santos was sworn in, Mr. McCarthy and other members of the House leadership, operating with a slim and tricky majority, have defended his right to serve in Congress despite the falsehoods he told to win elections. His extensive indictment this month did not change that, although Mr McCarthy said he would not support his re-election.

Several Republicans, including members of the New York delegation, have publicly called for Santos to resign, labeling him a serial fraudster who embarrasses the entire party.

In response to the eviction resolution, Mr. Santos told CBS News on Tuesday that “Democrats are very good at playing judge and jury and trying to hold people guilty before they’ve even gotten a free chance at a trial.”

If Mr. Santos were forced to leave, New York Governor Kathy Hochul, a Democrat, would hold a special election to replace him. Two Republicans and four Democrats have already announced their plans to run for Mr. Santos’ seat in 2024. Mr. Santos has also announced his plans to run for re-election.

Catie Edmondson And Michael Gold reporting contributed.