(WASHINGTON) — Embattled Republican Rep. George Santos remained defiant Tuesday afternoon ahead of a looming expulsion vote on the House floor — saying he didn’t care about the procedural move that triggered another push to oust him.
Rep. Robert Garcia, a Democrat from California, filed a privileged resolution on the House floor Tuesday to expel Santos following a scathing report from the House Ethics Committee that alleges the New York congressman “placed his desire for private gain above his duty to uphold the Constitution, federal law, and ethical principles.”
Garcia’s move means House leaders must now schedule a vote on it within two legislative days.
“Look, you all want a soundbite. It’s the third time we are going through this. I don’t care,” Santos said on Capitol Hill Tuesday afternoon. “I was sent here by the people of the Third District of New York. I represent them. The political class in Washington, D.C., if they want to send me home, if they think this was a fair process, if they think this is how it should be done, and if they’re confident that this is a constitutional way of doing it — God bless their hearts,” Santos said.
Santos, who has survived two other expulsion efforts, said he would not turn to his colleagues for support.
“This is the third time we’ve gone through this. I didn’t do it the first time I didn’t do it the second time. I’m not going to do it the third time. It’s not a good use of my time,” he said.
Garcia spoke on the House floor alongside Rep. Dan Goldman, a Democrat from New York, who joined on as co-lead in the effort.
“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. It is essential for the American people to have Representatives they can trust and who don’t build their careers on deceit and falsehoods. We have once again forced an expulsion vote on the House floor because enough is enough,” Garcia wrote in a statement.
Goldman wrote in a statement that “Santos is an admitted liar, fraud, and cheat, and the recent Ethics Committee report confirms what we’ve long known: George Santos is wholly unfit for public office.”
This is Garcia’s own resolution — not the same one that House Ethics Committee Chairman and Republican Rep. Michael Guest filed earlier this month. The resolution from Rep. Guest has not been filed yet as privileged.
Rep. Garcia previously forced the House to vote to expel Santos back in the spring. Then-Speaker Kevin McCarthy referred Rep. Garcia’s resolution to the House Ethics Committee at the time — avoiding a full floor vote.
Earlier this month, the House Ethics Committee released a report that contained damning details about how Santos allegedly used campaign dollars for his own personal enrichment — including things such as Botox treatments, trips to Atlantic City, designer goods and purchases on the website OnlyFans, known for its adult content. Investigators said their monthslong probe of the New York congressman, who is also facing separate federal charges, revealed a “complex web of unlawful activity.”
The threshold to expel a member is high — two thirds of the chamber would have to vote in favor of removal.
A growing number of House Republicans who did not vote to remove Santos earlier this month said they want him expelled following the scathing report from the House Ethics Committee.
Santos himself said he expects to be expelled.
“I know I’m going to get expelled when this expulsion resolution goes to the floor,” he said last week during a conversation on X Spaces. “I’ve done the math over and over, and it doesn’t look really good.”
On Monday, ABC News Senior Congressional Correspondent Rachel Scott asked Santos if he is planning to resign amid the expulsion battle.
“I’m not resigning, I have not spoken to anyone [about] resigning,” Santos said.
Santos said Tuesday that members want him to resign.
“They can keep doing this,” Santos said. “But my message to them is: put up or shut up.”
Santos has pleaded not guilty to 23 federal charges. He called the bipartisan report a “politicized smear” and has said he will not run for reelection in 2024, but plans to finish out the rest of his term.
Santos said Tuesday afternoon that Congress should be focusing on fixing inflation and border security instead of censuring and expelling members.
“If this building, if this city put in the effort to fixing our country the same way that they put on expelling me, we’d be in a better place,” Santos said. “But this place is littered in political theater and the American people are the ones paying the price.”
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