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The award-winning voice of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The Chant

The award-winning voice of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The Chant

Congress votes to expel NY Representative George Santos

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Al Drago (Getty Images)
Friday, December 1, a resolution for the future of the scandal-ridden New York Republican representative George Santos resulted in his expulsion in a House of Representatives vote. With 311 of his colleagues voting yes, it overwhelmingly passed the two-thirds majority to oust the lawmaker. This rare event has left Santos to hold the title of the sixth member of Congress to join the list of members expelled from the House. The vacant seat in the House now presses the issue of the Republican and Democratic parties competing for seats in the slim Republican majority House.

Friday, December 1, The House of Representatives voted to expel New York Republican Representative George Santos. In their third resolution to oust Santos since May, the House voted 311-114. This historic move has come after months of revelations that exposed election fabrications and ethical concerns regarding his campaign fund. The scandal-ridden lawmaker has become the sixth member of Congress ever expelled from the House. 

Despite 23 federal fraud charges piling against him, Santos has pleaded not guilty to all of them and has not been tried. According to a New York Times report in December 2022, Santos lied about the college he attended and the jobs he held at Goldman Sachs and Citigroup. Since the released report, other news outlets detailed additional fabrications including the Congressman claiming to hold Jewish identity and reported allegations of charges made against him in Brazil for using a stolen checkbook. Santos has admitted to lying about the claims made during his campaign, including attending college and his career.  These findings prompted local officials to begin investigating Santos. Additionally, political organizations and other lawmakers called for further investigations and pushed for his resignation. Amid the numerous calls for his resignation, Santos remained adamant about finishing his two-year term and even announced a reelection bid for 2024 but stepped down from his positions on House committees amid his allegations.

The first vote to expel Santos, called by California Democratic Representative Robert Garcia failed to pass. The second attempt failed due to falling short of the two-thirds majority needed to oust the embattled lawmaker. Days before the third vote, the House Ethics Committee published a 56-page report detailing how Santos used campaign funds for personal usage, such as luxury goods and trips to the Hamptons, and filing false campaign statements. Following the committee’s report, Santos began to lose support from his colleagues and both Democrats and Republicans pushed for the expulsion vote the same week. The Speaker of the House, Louisiana Republican Representative Mike Johnson attempted to persuade Santos to resign but the controversial representative rejected this action. The day before the vote, the House opened the floor up for debate regarding the resolution to expel Santos. The lawmaker defended himself alongside his supporters in the House against the calls from other representatives arguing for his removal.

“George Santos is not the person he offered to voters. He didn’t work where he said he did. He didn’t go to school where he said he did. He’s far from rich. He isn’t Jewish. His mother was not in the South Tower during 9/11. So, the argument that New Yorkers voted George Santos in and that we should wait until November of 2024 for voters to decide his fate, is inherently flawed, since voters weren’t given a chance … in the first chance to determine who they were actually voting for,” New York Republican representative Nick LaLota said

When it came time to vote, Republicans’ votes divided evenly on the matter with 105 voting yes to expel and 112 voting against it. Nearly all Democrats voted in favor of expulsion as two voted present, or refused to take sides and two others voted no. As Johnson presided over the House and held the gavel to announce the vote’s results, Santos rushed to put on his winter coat and hurried to leave the chamber. 

A vacant seat in a House with a slim Republican majority has led to a competitive election within Santos’s district. Now, the House clerk assumes control of the office. The governor of New York, Kathy Hochul takes responsibility for holding a special election to replace the seat for the 3rd Congressional District within 70 days and to announce the special election date in 10 days. In New York’s special election rules, county party leaders will choose the nominees instead of votes. The battleground district now remains a pressing issue for both the Republican and Democratic parties as they both hope to gain another seat to their roster.  

He absolutely deserves to be kicked out, the false claims he made indisputably contributed to him winning in his district, but it does as others have said set a dangerous precedent that elected members of Congress could be removed due to unpopularity within Congress. I personally do not think that will be an issue because a member would have to be deeply unpopular or wildly unethical, like Santos, to have this happen to them,” magnet senior Laibon Gitonga said. 

 

 
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About the Contributor
Rose Ordonio, Page Editor
Rose Ordonio, a senior at NC, is a returning member of The Chant. She hopes to continue writing about developing topics around the world, showcase her opinions and get involved in the Kennesaw community. She enjoys plants and is involved in NC's environmental clubs. Outside of school, she loves watching her favorite dramas, going out with her friends, and watching games from her hometown baseball team: the Atlanta Braves. Ordonio plans to study public relations in college and pursue journalism.    

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