George Santos to resign from House committees amid biographical lies

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Beleaguered Rep. George Santos (RN.Y.) told House Republicans Tuesday he is temporarily stepping down from his committee assignments amid multiple investigations into his campaign finances after he lied about key aspects of his biography.

Santos, who has admitted fabricating details about his education, work, religion and heritage since his election in November, told a closed-door meeting of House Republicans that he would step down from his assignments on the House Small Business Committee. and the Science Committee. , Space and Technology Commission.

The temporary withdrawal of the committees marks the first major concession by Santos after weeks of maintaining a staunch resistance to any consequences of his fabrications.

Santos said at the meeting that he will resign because “it’s a distraction,” according to a Republican lawmaker who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the private meeting. The conversation comes a day after Santos met with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.).

House Small Business Committee Chairman Roger Williams (R-Tex.) said he understood the withdrawal is temporary, until Santos is cleared of ongoing investigations. The 34-year-old freshman Republican has faced increased scrutiny, including a federal investigation into his campaign finances and a local investigation into fabrications on his resume, since the disclosure of his misrepresentations of his experience, personal life, and education.

“It took me by surprise, but it was probably the right call,” Williams said.

“Without the ethics investigation being completed, I think it’s the right decision,” said Rep. Michael Lawler (RN.Y.), who also called for Santos’ resignation.

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Walking out of the meeting, Santos declined to comment, saying, “I think you should talk to leadership if you want details related to the committees.”

The announcement comes on the same day that polls in his district showed the vast majority of voters believe he should resign. More than three-quarters of registered voters in New York’s 3rd Congressional District said she should quit her job, according to the Newsday-Siena College poll.

Santos has given no indication that he plans to voluntarily give up his seat.

Republicans in his Long Island-based district and several members of the House GOP have called for Santos’ resignation. However, McCarthy, who has a slim Republican majority, has rejected those calls. The Republican leadership has avoided reprimanding Santos, and others have stopped short of demanding his resignation.

Asked if she regretted supporting Santos after the news that he had resigned from the caucuses, Rep. Elise Stefanik (RN.Y.) said voters had chosen to elect him.

“This process will play itself out,” the third-place House Republican said Tuesday. “But ultimately, the voters are going to make that decision.”

On January 31, Rep. Elise Stefanik (RN.Y.) told reporters that Rep. George Santos (RN.Y.) voluntarily withdrew from his committee duties. (Video: The Washington Post)

Democratic leaders, who have repeatedly called for Santos’ resignation, questioned Santos’ latest resignation and the Republican reaction.

“I am shocked by the chaos, confusion and dysfunction in the Republican conference,” said Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.). “They advocated putting him on committees and now they are announcing that he is not going to serve on a committee. So I just don’t get what the play for the day is.”

Santos’ move comes as McCarthy fights to secure GOP votes to oust Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) from the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The speaker is determined to make good on a promise years after Democrats ousted two Republicans, Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) and Paul A. Gosar (R-Ariz.), from committees for endorsing violence. politics against democrats on social media. media.

McCarthy said she wanted Omar removed from the committee because of “repeated anti-Semitic and anti-American comments,” a reference to her using an anti-Semitic trope and comparing US actions to those of terrorist groupswhich he later clarified by saying: “I was in no way equating terrorist organizations with democratic countries with well-established judicial systems.”

But McCarthy has faced opposition from Republican Reps. Victoria Spartz (Ind.), Ken Buck (Colo.) and Nancy Mace (SC). The Republicans have a slim majority that allows them to lose just four votes to pass anything. That margin narrowed to three as Rep. Greg Steube (R-Fla.) recovers at home from a traumatic fall in which he was injured.

John Wagner contributed to this report.

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