Democrats are forcing Republicans’ hand on George Santos after introducing a resolution on Monday to censure the embattled freshman congressman.
The resolution, introduced by Representative Richie Torres, is privileged, meaning it has to be acted on. If Torres calls for a vote on the measure, then a vote must be held within 48 hours. This is the second time Democrats have introduced a privileged resolution on Santos over his many, many lies, moving in May to expel him from Congress. Republicans managed to refer that resolution to the House Ethics Committee.
“I have a message to House Republicans who, for too long, have been protecting Mr. Santos, who has disgraced the United States Congress,” Torres said when announcing the censure resolution on Twitter. “Stop treating Mr. Santos as untouchable. The time has come for Congress to hold him accountable.”
The resolution lists more than a dozen of Santos’s many lies, such as his fabricating the bulk of his professional and educational résumé—including that he received a volleyball scholarship for college. The resolution also calls out Santos’s lies that his grandparents were Holocaust survivors, his mother died in the 9/11 attack, and four of his employees were killed in the Pulse nightclub shooting. He also lied about founding an animal rescue charity and producing the disastrous Broadway musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.
Santos has been federally charged with 13 counts of various types of financial fraud, to which he has pleaded not guilty. He agreed to a deal with Brazilian authorities investigating him for financial fraud, and he is still under investigation by the House Ethics Committee.
Republicans, who have stood staunchly by Santos, were able to squash the previous resolution against him by arguing that the Ethics Committee probe hadn’t yet concluded. But the motion to censure has no effect on the Ethics Committee’s work, so it will be harder to argue down.
Santos could well be censured, as many of his fellow Republicans have called on him to resign over his falsehoods. This vote could actually prove important for Republican representatives, particularly from New York, who won in districts that went for President Joe Biden in 2020.
The majority of Santos’s constituents and New York voters in general want him out. New York Republicans who don’t vote against him could face a reckoning next November.