A Republican-led initiative to expel Rep. George Santos of New York was defeated in the House, with a vote tally of 213 against and 179 in favor. The motion, which required a two-thirds majority to pass, was introduced by Rep. Anthony D’Esposito and supported by Democrats and a few Republicans. Despite Santos’s admitted fabrications and a federal indictment, many lawmakers, including Speaker Mike Johnson, preferred to await the outcome of his trial and ongoing House Ethics investigation before taking action.
The decision not to expel Santos, who faces a 23-count federal indictment, was influenced by concerns over setting a precedent and the slim Republican majority. While 24 Republicans voted for expulsion, 31 Democrats voted against it, citing the importance of due process and the presumption of innocence.
Rep. Katie Porter, a Democrat, emphasized the need to wait for the conclusion of the criminal case and ethics review before reconsidering Santos’s position. The House Ethics Committee has announced it will provide an update on its investigation by November 17.
Santos, who is up for re-election, has managed to avoid becoming the first representative since the Civil War to be removed without a criminal conviction. Despite the failed expulsion attempt, he faces a challenging Republican primary ahead, with local and national leaders withholding their support.