Rep. George Santos says he won't serve on his 2 committees for now
NEW YORK - Embattled Rep. George Santos of New York has told his Republican colleagues that he is temporarily stepping down from his two congressional committees until all of his issues are resolved.
He reportedly made the comment during a closed-door meeting with other GOP lawmakers. Santos was assigned to the House Committee on Small Business and to the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee.
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"I met with George Santos yesterday and think it was an appropriate decision until he could clear everything up," said House Speaker Kevin McCarthy.
Fellow lawmakers say the freshman congressman, now under the microscope after multiple ongoing investigations into his finances and lies about his resume, had become a distraction.
"The bulk of the questions is not about what we’d do about small businesses, how we’re going to help Main Street and cut regulations, taxes, etc," said Rep. Roger Williams. "It was about him and the problem is it’s not about him, it‘s about our committee."
The Long Island Republican admitted that he fabricated much of the resume he used during the campaign for New York's 3rd Congressional District.
A new letter sent to the Federal Election Commission questions at least $30,000 in donations from individuals who may not exist. Only two of the more than 70 donors we reached out to last week answered our calls. Neither wanted to discuss their contributions.
"This is legitimate evidence of campaign violation and fraud," said Nassau County Legislator Josh Lafazan. "This is enough to get him kicked out of Congress alone."
The House Ethics committee has launched an investigation to see if he violated the law.
Skepticism surrounding Santos has continued to grow. According to a Newsday/Siena poll, 78% of constituents want him to resign, 75% said he cannot be an effective representative.
"89% of Democrats, 72% of independents, and 71% republicans," said Don Levy with Siena College Research Institute. "Rarely do you see numbers that are that aligned."
Some political experts say that Santos stepping down from his committee assignments may mark the beginning of the end.
"The stepping down may be the first in a series of steps where he decides that it’s just not worth it," said political analyst Michael Balboni with Redland Strategies.
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A recent poll shows that New York voters give Rep. George Santos high unavoidability ratings and should resign from Congress.
The Siena College Research Institute poll found that nearly two-thirds of Democrats, 59% of independents, and 49% of Republicans say he should resign. Only 17% of all voters say he shouldn’t resign. The Nassau County Republican Party is among the groups who want him to step down.
This is a developing story and will be updated.