Republicans have joined themselves to Democratic outrage in getting behind a new bill to corral Representative George Santos (R-NY), who has lied compulsively to the edge of the law and, maybe, beyond. Legislation under development could prevent the first-term legislator from various modes of profiting after he has served this term — particularly relevant considering he is under federal and local investigation.
The proposed legislation halts former members convicted of specific crimes from enjoying the profits of “book deals, speeches and other ways former lawmakers often cash in,” as outlets including Politico originally reported. With the campaign finance questions around Santos, charges could eventually happen, although the eventual course of the investigations he’s facing presently is obviously unclear.
For now, new Republican members of Congress from New York made no bones about distancing themselves from Santos. Democrats have been all in for taking down the Long Island lawmaker. According to an Axios report discussing some of the newly serving Republicans, “The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has run billboards tying them to Santos based on donations he made to their campaigns.” That organization is an arm of the party that deals with House races.
In addition, Democrats have written the SANTOS Act, which forces future legislators to “disclose more elements of their background,” as Axios summarized that bill. “The bill text is being circulated to members by Rep. Anthony D’Esposito (R-N.Y.), whose district borders Santos’ in Long Island,” Axios added of the legislation that would block some of his money-making opportunities. “D’Esposito was the first Republican to call for Santos’ resignation.”
The expulsion of Santos from Congress has also been proposed, although the level of support needed for that move is unlikely with Republicans in charge of the House.
However, three swing district Republican representatives demanded that the mendacious lawmaker resign. They were Nick LaLota (R-NY), Mike Lawler (R-NY), and Marc Molinaro (R-NY). In addition, these few New York Republicans admitted they would cosponsor the bill.
Representative LaLota commented on the proposed law:
‘It’s squarely placed at part of [Santos’] scam… It’s logical to think that part of his motivation of being on TV, tweeting, giving floor speeches, isn’t… rehabilitation, which will never happen. It’s to promote himself, to probably sell… a movie later on, and we should provide him no incentive to continue this mockery.’
Molinaro admitted that the legislation was a “direct response to what we see as an erosion of the public’s trust and an unwillingness to acknowledge the level of dishonesty.”
Santos said that he was “not aware” of any investigations, which seems difficult to believe, adding no investigators contacted him:
‘I haven’t been convicted of any crime. Are you aware of me being convicted of any crime?.. I didn’t see the bill.’
Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) made questionable promises to the alt-right in order to gain his current position. Only a handful of Republicans winning their races meant the party could hold the House. That appears to be one potential reason behind McCarthy’s support for the errant New York representative.
Watch this space for future developments.
Gloria Christie is a political journalist for the liberal online newspaper The Bipartisan Report. Find her here on Facebook. Or at Three White Lions, her book written in her own unique style with a twist of humor on Amazon Kindle Vella and the Gloria Christie Three White Lions podcast on Apple, Spotify, Amazon Music, etc. Christie’s Mueller Report Adventures In Bite-Sizes a real-life compelling spy mystery (in progress).