(Bloomberg) -- Indicted New York Representative George Santos faces a vote next week by fellow lawmakers on expelling him from the US House.
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New York Republican Anthony D’Esposito on Thursday made a formal demand to vote on the expulsion, requiring Speaker Mike Johnson to call a vote within two legislative days. The House is leaving Thursday for a long weekend and is set to return to work on Wednesday.
How to deal with the Republican’s extravagant false claims and criminal indictment for campaign finance violations is one of the first issues confronting Johnson after an unprecedented three-week stretch in which the House was leaderless and couldn’t conduct business.
During that time, US prosecutors brought new charges against the 35-year-old Long Island congressman, accusing him of making false statements to the Federal Election Commission and running up unauthorized expenses on the credit cards of campaign contributors. He will be arraigned on those charges Friday on Long Island.
“Anybody who’s been awake and reading the newspaper and looking at Twitter understands” why Santos should be expelled, D’Esposito said.
A previous Democratic-backed attempt to expel Santos failed in May when then-Speaker Kevin McCarthy steered the resolution to the House Ethics Committee on a party-line vote. But this time, Republican members of the New York delegation are forcing the issue, signaling that there’s now bipartisan support to force out Santos.
Santos said he isn’t resigning and is “entitled to due process and not a predetermined outcome as some are seeking” in a posting on X, the social media site.
The Constitution requires a two-thirds vote to expel a member, a move the House has taken only five times before in its history.
Expelling Santos would result in a vacancy in a GOP-held House seat at a time the party’s narrow majority already has caused headaches in passage of legislation and other matters.
Republicans now hold a 221-212 seat advantage, meaning Johnson and the GOP can’t afford more than four defections to pass bills. With Santos’ seat vacant, only three defections could be absorbed, since legislation is not passed with tie votes.
(Updates with D’Esposito, Santos comments beginning with fifth paragraph)
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