Rep. George Santos (R-NY) told House Republican colleagues he will recuse himself from sitting on any committees.
The freshman congressman, who has admitted to lying about aspects of his career and personal life, is facing multiple investigations and calls to resign. He revealed his intentions Tuesday at a House GOP conference meeting, a day after meeting with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), according to Punchbowl News.
“George has voluntarily removed himself from committees as he goes through this process, but ultimately voters decide,” House Republican Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY) told reporters afterwards.
.@RepStefanik on Rep. George Santos: "George has voluntarily removed himself from committees as he goes through this process, but ultimately voters decide." pic.twitter.com/gfgezavDf9
— CSPAN (@cspan) January 31, 2023
Voters elected Santos, 34, to his first term representing New York’s 3rd Congressional District in the November elections, helping Republicans win a narrow majority in the House.
A whirlwind of controversy, buffeted by such revelations as records contradicting Santos’ claim that his mother was in the World Trade Center during the 9/11 terrorist attacks, led his own constituents to sour on the congressman. The results of a Newsday/Siena College poll, released Tuesday, showed 78% of the congressman’s constituents saying they want Santos to resign.
Among a flurry of investigative activity, Santos appears to be under a federal criminal inquiry, with prosecutors looking into the congressman’s campaign finances, according to The Washington Post.
During Tuesday’s closed-door meeting, Santos said he will leave his assignments on the House Small Business Committee and the Science, Space and Technology Committee because he has become a “distraction,” a Republican lawmaker told the newspaper.
Asked for a response about Santos’ decision to recuse himself from his committees, a spokesman for the congressman told NBC News, “He has reserved to see it until he has been cleared up both campaign and personal financial investigations.”
House Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) warned of a “double standard” if McCarthy blocked certain Democrats from their committee assignments while allowing a “serial fraudster” — namely Santos — to serve on congressional panels.
Santos said last month he is “not a criminal” and insisted the controversy “will not deter me from having good legislative success.”