'This is a dodge': 'Lying' Kevin McCarthy accused of working to derail George Santos’ expulsion
Republican Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy is attempting to derail a resolution to expel U.S. Rep. George Santos, filed by several House Democrats after the freshman New York GOP congressman was indicted on 13 federal felony charges.
Democratic Rep. Robert Garcia of California is the lead sponsor of the resolution, and was joined by Rep. Eric Sorensen (D-IL) and Rep. Becca Balint (D-VT). The expulsion resolution was filed as a privileged motion, meaning it effectively can attempt to force McCarthy to put it up for a full House vote within 48 hours.
“George Santos is a fraud and a liar, and he needs to be expelled by the House,” Rep. Garcia said in a statement Tuesday.
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But McCarthy holds the majority by the slimmest of margins, and can barely afford to lose a single GOP vote on any given day, certainly not one permanently – or until a special election would replace Santos if he indeed were expelled. The special election process to fill a congressional seat in New York could take up to 90 days.
Tuesday afternoon McCarthy made his move, suggesting he was concerned about the federal felony charges Rep. Santos is facing, while insisting there be due process – a deviation from his remarks earlier this year suggesting Santos should keep his seat unless he were criminally charged.
“I think we can look at this very quickly and come to a conclusion on what George Santos did and did not do through ethics, a safe bipartisan committee,” McCarthy said, as CNN reported. “I would like the Ethics Committee to move rapidly on this.”
The House Ethics Committee does not move “rapidly.”
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Aaron Fritschner, the Deputy Chief of Staff for U.S. Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), blasted Speaker McCarthy.
“This is a dodge,” Fritschner charged on Twitter. “Ethics won’t do this and Kevin McCarthy 100% knows that. He’s just trying to give his people a dishonest excuse for a bad, dishonest vote. They are lying to you and to their constituents, and nobody will know that unless you guys tell them.”
“This much-repeated statement from McCarthy is pure BS,” Fritschner also said, referring to the Speaker’s claim he wanted the Ethics Committee to move rapidly. “House Ethics does not accelerate investigations at a party leader’s request. Bear that in mind as Republicans who previously said Santos had to go point at this to try to weasel out of voting to remove him— it is not a thing.”
Fritschner also says if anything, the House Ethics Committee will slow-walk the investigation, or put it on hold. As proof he points to six Ethics Committee investigations where a member of Congress was facing federal charges, and the Dept. of Justice asked the Committee to pause their investigations.
“Kevin McCarthy KNOWS that” the Ethics Committee will…ask House Ethics to pause and they will,” Fritschner adds. “He 100% knew that when he spun everyone up yesterday about a ‘rapid’ House Ethics investigation. He is lying to you guys, again.”
As for the House Ethics Committee’s slow pace, the last investigation it took up was a referral against Congressman Santos, which the Committee announced on March 2.
That is also that last formal announcement the Committee has made, and it does not appear to have concluded that investigation.
Congressman Garcia’s resolution is expected to be put before the full House for a vote Wednesday. It would require a two-thirds vote to pass. It is all but certain to fail, give Republicans hold the majority.
Republicans, after McCarthy’s remarks, are expected to vote to send the resolution to the House Ethics Committee.
“House Dem Whip Katherine Clark’s office confirms Republicans are expected to hold a vote today on referring the Santos expulsion resolution to Ethics Committee,” reported Axios’ Andrew Solender Wednesday morning.
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