For the sixth time in U.S. history, the 234-year-old House of Representatives expelled a member, Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.), on Dec. 1.
The final vote on the resolution, introduced by House Ethics Chair Michael Guest (R-Miss.) to send Mr. Santos packing was 310-115 with two voting “present,” fulfilling the two-thirds requirement for the measure.
105 Republicans joined 206 Democrats in favor of the expulsion, while two Democrats, Reps. Nikema Williams (D-Ga.) and Bobby Scott (D-Va.), joined 112 Republicans in voting against the resolution.
“They just set a new dangerous precedent,” a defiant-looking Mr. Santos told reporters as he was leaving the House chamber, for perhaps the last time.
Ahead of the vote, the New York congressman appeared resigned to his fate, saying he knew there were enough votes for his ouster.
“I’ve accepted the fate,” he told Fox News. “If it’s God’s will to keep me here, I will stay, and if it is his will to leave, I will leave. And I will do so graciously.”
During debate on the House floor, proponents and opponents made their case over whether the House should expel Mr. Santos.
“George Santos has built his persona, his personal and political life, on a foundation of lies,” said Mr. Guest.
Rep. Susan Wild (D-Pa.) said Mr. Santos is “not a victim,“ rather he is ”a perpetrator of a massive fraud on his constituents.”
Rep. Troy Nehls warned that were Mr. Santos to be expelled, it would set a “very dangerous precedent for this Congress.”
After the vote, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) told The Epoch Times the vote was a mistake.
“George made mistakes and he sort of should have been sanctioned by the [House] Ethics [Committee],” he said. ”But I believe that the old standard which is, If convicted, will be expelled was a good standard for the most part.”
Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) did not seem impressed by the 105 Republicans who joined 206 Democrats to expel Mr. Santos.
This development comes weeks after the bipartisan House Ethics Committee released a report stating that Mr. Santos “knowingly caused his campaign committee to file false or incomplete reports with the Federal Election Commission; used campaign funds for personal purposes; engaged in fraudulent conduct, ... and engaged in knowing and willful violations of the Ethics in Government Act.”
Additionally, according to the report, Mr. Santos “continues to flout his statutory financial disclosure obligations and has failed to correct countless errors and omissions in his past FD Statements, despite being repeatedly reminded by the ISC and the Committee of his requirement to do so.”
Ahead of the vote, Rep. Dan Goldman (D-N.Y.) said, “We have reached an inflection point” when it comes to Mr. Santos.
Before Mr. Santos, the last time the House expelled a member was in 2002 when the lower chamber ousted Rep. James Traficant (D-Ohio) after he was convicted on federal charges including tax evasion.
Mr. Santos, who in 2022 flipped the Democrat-held seat in New York’s Third Congressional District, had refused to resign.
“Setting the record straight, My conversation with the speaker was positive and I told him id be standing for the expulsion vote. Expel me and set the precedent so we can see who the judge, jury and executioners in Congress are. The American people deserve to know!” he posted on X on Nov. 27.
Mr. Santos had said he would not run for re-election.
Ahead of the expulsion vote, House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) said that Republicans should “vote their conscience,” adding that leadership would not be whipping votes for the measure.
The speaker said he had “real reservations” about the expulsion vote, saying it could “set a precedent.”
There were two previous attempts to expel the New York congressman.
The House defeated an expulsion resolution on Nov. 1, 179–213. That measure was brought by New York GOP Reps. Marc Molinaro, Mike Lawler, Anthony D'Esposito, Brandon Williams, and Nick LaLota.
In May, the House referred an expulsion resolution to the House Ethics Committee with a vote of 221–204, thereby punting on an actual expulsion vote. The resolution was introduced by Rep. Robert Garcia (D-Calif.).
Even before the committee report, Mr. Santos admitted to fabricating parts of his past, from his family history to his educational background to his employment experience.
Mr. Santos’ last measure he introduced before being expelled was a resolution to expel Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D-N.Y.) for pulling a fire alarm to allegedly obstruct a House proceeding. The resolution is privileged and therefore will have to be voted on either Dec. 1 or Dec. 4.
In September, Mr. Bowman activated a fire alarm, which delayed a House vote over a stopgap measure to fund the government through mid-November. Mr. Bowman pleaded guilty in October to a misdemeanor for pulling the fire alarm inside the Cannon House Office Building.
Mr. Santos lamented that had anyone else—for example, a member of the media or a GOP member of Congress—pulled a fire alarm on Capitol Hill, he or she would have been charged for obstructing a congressional hearing.