U.S. Rep. Ritchie Torres Leads House Democrats in Introducing Privilege Resolution to Censure U.S. Rep. George Santos

Jul 17, 2023
Press

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Ritchie Torres (NY-15) today led House Democrats in introducing a privilege resolution to censure U.S. Rep. George Santos (NY-03) for conduct unbecoming of a member of Congress, including repeatedly lying to voters in his district, donors, and the American public about material aspects of his personal and professional life.

In announcing the resolution, Rep. Torres was joined by U.S. Reps. Robert Garcia (CA-42) and Dan Goldman (NY-10), who are both original cosponsors. Audio and video of their press conference can be accessed here. Rep. Ted Lieu (CA-36) is also an original co-sponsor.

“For too long, House Republicans, under the leadership of Speaker McCarthy, have been shielding and protecting Rep. Santos from any shred of accountability,” said Rep. Torres. “Back in May, they shamelessly voted to keep him in Congress and told the American people he would be dealt with expeditiously by the House Ethics Committee within 60 days. It has now been 60 days and Rep. Santos continues to defraud the people of his district and disgrace our institution. I invite all those who have condemned his repeated lies and deception or called on Rep. Santos to resign to join House Democrats in voting to support my resolution to formally censure him and to stop treating him as untouchable.”

“It’s been a full 60 days since House Republicans voted to keep serial liar and fraud George Santos in Congress. We were assured swift action and yet there has been no meaningful progress in determining whether he should face disciplinary measures or even be expelled from office. By censuring Santos, we send a clear message that his actions are unacceptable and contrary to the values we hold as representatives of the people,” said Rep. Garcia. “The American public deserves elected officials who uphold the highest standards of transparency, integrity, and honesty. We must demonstrate that no one is above the law and that violating the public’s trust will not be tolerated.”

“Republican leadership and the six New York Republicans who profess to want George Santos out of Congress continue to embrace an admitted liar and an indicted fraudster in the halls of Congress,” said Rep. Goldman. “Their refusal to hold George Santos accountable is an insult not only to this institution but to the people of NY-03. Speaker McCarthy said we would get a report from the Ethics Committee today — yet another false promise designed to protect Santos. I am proud to stand with my Democratic colleagues in doing what Republican leadership refuses to do – fight for George Santos’ constituents and censure him for his repeated lies and deception.”

“The Republican Member purportedly know as George Santos has disgraced the halls of Congress,” said Rep. Lieu. “If he had any shame at all he would have resigned long ago. Since he has not, the House should act immediately to censure him. George Santos has been charged with 13 federal crimes, including illegally pocketing political contributions, stealing unemployment benefits from those who lost their jobs due to COVID, and deliberately lying to the House of Representatives. He has gotten to where he is today by intentionally deceiving the constituents he represents, all for his own personal enrichment. His actions fly in the face of the ideals of this institution. George Santos is not fit for public service.”

The privilege resolution provides Rep. Torres the ability to force a floor vote on censuring Rep. Santos within two legislative business days and would only require a simple majority to pass. Under House rules, censure is a disciplinary action reserved for “more-serious violations”.

BACKGROUND: On May 17, 2023, House Republicans, under the leadership of Speaker Kevin McCarthy, assured the American people that the House Ethics Committee would move “rapidly” and “quickly” in determining within 60 days whether Rep. Santos should be expelled from office or face any disciplinary action. It has now been 60 days and there still has been no determination.

In May, Rep. Santos was charged in federal court with 13 criminal counts, including money laundering, stealing public money, wire fraud, and making false statements to Congress. Also in May, Rep. Santos confessed to previously using a fake name and stolen checkbook to purchase goods in Brazil in 2008 and agreed to pay restitution of nearly $5,000. The cases followed bombshell reporting in the New York Times in December 2022 that exposed a series of lies and misrepresentations perpetuated by Rep. Santos about his background, qualifications for public office, and finances.

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