A House Democrat introduced a resolution Tuesday afternoon to expel GOP Rep. George Santos.
The motion offered by freshman Democratic congressman Robert Garcia is privileged, so the House GOP has until Thursday to schedule a vote. It is not yet clear when the vote will take place.
The measure is expected to fail, but will put House Republicans on record with the impeached congressman, who is facing calls to resign from within his own party. Facing a slim majority and a critical debt ceiling fight, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy can’t afford to lose a GOP vote.
GOP leaders are debating how to handle the resolution to oust Santos, according to a Republican source. Because it is “privileged,” the House must act within two days.
If they vote to enact it, it will need a majority vote to succeed, meaning McCarthy can’t afford to lose more than four GOP votes.
If the tabling motion fails, the House must vote on the underlying resolution.
If they go straight to a vote on the underlying resolution, then a two-thirds vote of the House is needed to succeed. McCarthy has previously signaled that he would not favor this route until after the House Ethics Committee’s review. GOP leaders have until Thursday to decide.
Santos has pleaded not guilty to 13 federal charges, including allegations of fraud related to Covid-19 unemployment benefits, misuse of campaign funds and lying about his personal that finance the House disclosure reports.
The one-page resolution reads: “Resolved, That, pursuant to Article I, Section 5, Clause 2 of the Constitution of the United States, Representative George Santos, may, and he is hereby, expelled on the 4th from the House of Representatives. ”
In a statement, Garcia said Santos “must be expelled from the House,” adding, “the news that federal prosecutors have filed 13 criminal charges against George Santos should be the last straw for Kevin McCarthy, but he refused to act.”