Will this be George Santos' last week in Congress?

The third time might finally be the charm when it comes to ridding the House of Rep. George Santos. CNBC reports the GOP probably has the votes to pull it off this week.

Multiple House Republicans said Wednesday they believe there is now enough support by GOP lawmakers to boot Rep. George Santos from Congress later this week…

After a GOP conference meeting, Rep. Nick LaLota, R-N.Y. said, “I think there’ll be 120, 150 Republican votes” for the resolution, NBC News reported…

Another New York Republican, Rep. Anthony D’Esposito, said he believes this will be Santos’ last week in Congress…

“I’ll be voting to expel Santos. He’s a crook,” said Rep. Dusty Johnson, R-S.D., on Wednesday. Johnson previously voted against removing Santos.

Politico has done its own vote count which backs that up.

Nearly 90 House Republicans say they plan or are likely to support voting to expel George Santos from Congress. That means it’s a near-certainty the indicted lawmaker will be out this week.

A POLITICO internal whip count has found that more than 75 House Republicans say they plan to vote for Santos’ expulsion, while a dozen say they are likely to support his removal. If all Democrats vote to boot him, as expected, then lawmakers will reach the two-thirds vote threshold required to remove the New York Republican from the House.

Santos survived two previous attempts to oust him. Republicans said earlier this month that they wanted to wait until the results of the Ethics Committee investigation were final. But the release of the ethics report two weeks ago has definitely turned the tide against him. But even now there is a lot of hesitation. Speaker Johnson said today that he had “reservations” about it.

From CNN:

Speaker Mike Johnson on Wednesday expressed “real reservations” about expelling Rep. George Santos from the House since the New York Republican has yet to be convicted of a crime — even as GOP support grows to make him just the sixth member of the chamber ever to be formally ousted from his seat in the face of damning allegations about his conduct…

Johnson’s comment that he has “reservations” won’t provide political cover for members to vote in favor of expulsion, which could make it harder for some Republicans to support such a move.

Even Rep. Nick LaLota, who I quoted above saying there could be 150 GOP votes to remove Santos seems to be backing away from that slightly.

From CNN:

“People are telling us different things as to where they think the vote count is out. I’ve spoken with a decent amount of people, and I feel like we’ll get to the two-thirds, but it might be close,” LaLota told reporters Wednesday afternoon.

I don’t have any problem with voting to expel Santos even in the absence of a conviction. I think the scope and the sheer number of lies he’s admitted to already are pretty damning. Still, some of the Republicans who are hesitant about this have a reasonable argument that even if this is technically in their hands they should be wary of using this power:

From CNN:

Rep. Roger Williams, a Texas Republican, said he is leaning against voting to expel Santos, noting that he has serious reservations about voting to remove a fellow member. “I don’t know whether that’s my decision, if he stays or not, but right now, I’d vote not to expel him,” he said. “I think we set a really not a good example if we can just pick and choose who comes and who stays. I don’t agree with what he’s been accused of, but at the same time it’s not our job here in Congress to decide who the congressman in some state or some district is. I just don’t like the idea of that.”

So it looks like we’ll have to wait another two days to see which argument persuades House Republicans the most. Does Santos deserve to be expelled because he’s a liar and (probably) a crook? Or, in the absence of a criminal conviction, should they step back from this for fear of setting a bad precedent? Santos has said he will not run for reelection. Then again, Santos has said a lot of things and his word can’t be trusted about anything.

Dan Butcher

Dan Butcher (aka HP Pundit) is not a Democrat or Republican. He is a free thinking independent bringing you news and commentary with a dose of much needed common sense.

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