WASHINGTON — Democratic Rep. Ritchie Torres plans to introduce a resolution Monday to censure embattled New York Republican Rep. George Santos for his misleading comments about his education, employment history and family background during his successful 2020 campaign for Congress, a spokesman said. .
Torres’ resolution, also from New York, will be privileged, meaning the Republican-controlled House must act on it. Once Torres calls for a vote on the measure, it must be voted on or «introduced» (effectively killing it) within 48 hours.
The resolution comes after the indictment of Santos by federal prosecutors and as the investigation by the House Ethics Committee continues. Democrats are eager to apply some sort of sanction to Santos before the August recess.
Torres spokesman Jacob Long said the hope is that the resolution can be put to a vote before members leave Washington at the end of July unless the House Ethics Committee concludes its investigation of Santos and reveals his recommendation before that date.
The New York Times first reported about Torres’ plans to introduce the resolution.
Democrats had introduced another privileged resolution in May to expel Santos from the chamber, but Republicans successfully referred the matter to the ethics committee. New York Republicans who criticized Santos and called for his resignation supported the referral with the understanding that the panel would act within 60 days, on Monday.
Rep. Nick LaLota, RN.Y., who represents Santos’s neighboring district, said at the time that he would have «preferred that there were enough votes to expel the sociopathic con man» but that he believed the ethics committee would act. «within 60 days and the terrible liar is gone, by resignation or expulsion, before the August recess.»
The ethics committee declined to comment.
Santos has pleaded not guilty to all 13 federal charges against him, including wire fraud and money laundering. A trial date has not been set. His next court hearing is scheduled for September 7.
Votes of no confidence are rare in Congress, but carry no serious penalty other than a blemish of no confidence on a member’s record. House Republicans recently censured Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., for his role in investigating the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia. Democrats were highly critical of the vote at the time, and Schiff has raised millions ever since.
While an expel vote requires two-thirds of the House to succeed, a vote of no confidence only requires a simple majority.
In a statement to NBC News, Santos criticized attempts by Democrats to introduce the no-confidence resolution.
“The Democrats across the aisle have completely lost focus on the job they should be doing,” he said. “My record shows that my office is hard at work, serving the voters and crafting enthusiastic legislation. The Republican majority is also working hard to get the country back on track and clean up the mess left behind by destructive one-party Democratic rule. It’s time to stop the political ping-pong and really get to work.»