George Santos expelled from Congress: Corruption, cutting GOP majority

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Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., departs the U.S. Capitol following being voted out of Congress in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 1, 2023.

Al Drago | Bloomberg | Getty Images

The House voted Friday to expel Rep. George Santos from Congress for his alleged finance crimes and his campaign lies, shrinking the GOP’s already slim majority.

Lawmakers voted 311-114 to oust the New York Republican. The measure required the support of two-thirds of the chamber to pass. Two members voted present.

Santos is the sixth House member in U.S. history to be booted from Congress, and the third since the Civil War.

The removal of Santos lowers the number of House Republicans to 221, with 213 Democrats. This makes it even more difficult for the majority to pass legislation without Democratic support.

Democrats see his seat as a prime pickup opportunity. New York law gives Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul 10 days to announce a special election to fill his seat, with a vote coming sometime in late February.

“I am prepared to undertake the solemn responsibility of filling the vacancy in New York’s 3rd District,” Hochul wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, shortly after the expulsion vote. “The people of Long Island deserve nothing less.”

Former Democratic Rep. Tom Suozzi, who left the seat in New York’s 3rd congressional district to run for governor, has already launched a campaign to take it back.

House Republican leaders, including Speaker Mike Johnson and Majority Whip Steve Scalise, were wary of ousting one of their colleagues and had opposed the expulsion resolution.

The resolution, brought by Santos’ fellow New York Republicans, was the latest effort to boot the embattled 35-year-old freshman lawmaker. So far, none of the motions passed.

Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., is surrounded by journalists as he leaves the U.S. Capitol after his fellow members of Congress voted to expel him from the House of Representatives on Dec. 1, 2023.

Drew Angerer | Getty Images News | Getty Images

But the calculus for Republicans changed following the release of a scathing House Ethics report in mid-November about Santos.

The GOP-led panel concluded that Santos “blatantly stole from his campaign” and spent the donors’ money shopping at places such as Ferragamo and Hermès, getting Botox and visiting the adult website OnlyFans.com.

Scandals have defined the New York Republican’s brief time in office. Shortly after winning the seat in 2022, Santos admitted to lying about his professional and educational background, but he denied committing any crimes.

Santos has since been charged with nearly two dozen counts of crimes including identity theft, submitting false campaign finance reports and stealing unemployment money.

He has pleaded not guilty to the criminal charges.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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