Rep. George Santos ousted from House amid controversy

1:22 p.m. ET, December 1, 2023

The Republican Response to the Expulsion of George Santos

After the expulsion of New York GOP Rep. George Santos from the House, Republicans shared their reactions with CNN about the vote and the future of his seat.

GOP Rep. Byron Donalds: “I’m upset about it, because you’re talking about erasing the very fabric of what’s made us the greatest nation in the world. And it’s not the actions of George Santos. It’s the fact that everybody is afforded their day in court. And that was denied to him his day in court today. He lost his job,” the lawmaker from Florida told CNN “Are we going to not tell every American that if you’re accused of something you get fired on the spot? Is that not going to be the standard in the United States of America?”

“If that’s going to be the standard in America going forward I shudder for the future of our country. That should not be the standard,” he said, adding that the ethics committee’s report alone should not be enough to expel any member.

GOP Rep. Anthony D’Esposito: “There was a precedent set for someone like George Santos. The people in the Civil War were not George Santos, others that were removed from Congress were not George Santos, and I hope we don’t have to do it again,” the lawmaker from New York said.

D’Esposito also expressed confidence that the GOP will be able to keep Santos’ seat “because we are on the right side of every issue and we have great leadership.”

GOP Rep. Marc Molinaro: “What we have established is a precedent that when you fall far short of an ethical standard, we don’t believe that you should be a member of Congress. And I think quite frankly, that should be reassuring and gratifying to the American people,” the New York lawmaker told CNN.

GOP Rep. Mike Lawler: “I fundamentally believe he’s unfit to serve in public office, whether he’s dog catcher in his local community or here in the halls of Congress,” the representative from New York said. “I think the voters were defrauded in New York’s 3rd Congressional District. Donors were clearly defrauded. He used campaign funds for personal gain. And ultimately, the ethics report was pretty damning, and pretty clear and comprehensive.”

GOP Rep. Carlos Gimenez: “I think that the evidence is pretty overwhelming that he stole money from his contributors, and to me that’s one of the cardinal sins of public service. And you don’t deserve to be a public servant if you’re stealing money from your constituents,” the lawmaker from Florida said, adding that Republicans are ready to defend Santos’ seat in the upcoming special election to replace him.


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