Updated Jan 13, 2023 - Politics & Policy

All the House Republicans who have called for George Santos to resign

Rep. George Santos, wearing a blue suit jacket, white shirt and yellow tie, stands in an elevator at the Capitol.

Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.). Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call Inc. via Getty Images

Seven House Republicans have called on Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) to resign over revelations that he fabricated vast swaths of his resume, background and personal finances.

Why it matters: The calls stand in stark contrast to the position of House Republican leaders, who have signaled they plan to let an array of local, state and federal investigations resolve before considering action against Santos.

Driving the news: Reps. Marc Molinaro (R-N.Y.) and Mike Lawler (R-N.Y.) on Thursday joined the calls for Santos to resign — meaning all freshman House Republicans from New York have done so.

  • "I just don’t see how he can fulfill his duty," Molinaro told Axios in an interview at the Capitol, adding that, if Santos remains in Congress, "I don’t think he should serve on committees."
  • Lawler said in a statement that Santos has "lost the confidence and support of his party,” and that “with the extent and severity of the allegations … I believe he is unable to fulfill his duties and should resign."

Of note: Rep. Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) joined the fray after initially calling for "due process" on Wednesday, saying in a CNN interview that Santos should resign. She was the first House Republican from outside New York to call for Santos' resignation.

  • Rep. Max Miller (R-Ohio) issued a statement Thursday evening also calling for Santos to resign. "I believe voters have the right to hold government officials to the very highest standard of honesty and trustworthiness," Miller said.
  • "The people's representatives must respect the need for transparency and candor with Americans. It is not okay to fabricate or lie for political gain," he added. "This is especially true when the lie seeks benefit from the murder of millions of Jewish people. I do not believe George Santos can effectively serve and should resign."

The backdrop: Rep. Anthony D’Esposito (R-N.Y.), Santos’ fellow Long Islander who holds the bluest seat of any Republican, opened the floodgates on Wednesday by becoming the first of Santos’ colleagues to call for his resignation.

  • D’Esposito joined a group of Republican Party officials from Nassau County, a major chunk of both his and Santos’ districts, calling for Santos’ resignation on Wednesday.
  • Rep. Nick Langworthy (R-N.Y.), the chair of the New York GOP, followed up in a statement: “I support the Nassau Republicans' decision today to request the resignation of George Santos.”
  • Rep. Nick LaLota (R-N.Y.) told Axios, “I think he should resign … He hasn't shown any remorse, he hasn't corrected any of the behavior.”
  • Rep. Brandon Williams (R-N.Y.) said in a statement: “The constituents in NY-3 elected Representative Santos in part due to his biographical exaggerations and apparent deceptions … He must resign.”

Yes, but: The calls from New York’s GOP rank-and-file have fallen on deaf ears further up the chain.

  • House speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has repeatedly signaled he doesn’t plan to take action against Santos, at least until Ethics Committee probes run their course.
  • House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) has resisted echoing her fellow New Yorkers, telling CNN on Thursday: “It will play itself out … He’s a duly-elected member of Congress.”

Between the lines: Santos’ vote is critical for House GOP leadership as the party holds just a five-seat majority – and his seat could easily go to a Democrat in a special election.

What he’s saying: Santos told reporters on Thursday that he’ll only step down “if 142 people ask for me to resign,” later clarifying that he was referring to the 142,673 voters who backed him in November.

What we’re watching: Whether Democrats take the monumental step of introducing a privileged resolution to expel Santos from Congress.

  • A pair of New York Democrats have already filed an Ethics Committee complaint against Santos and introduced legislation requiring candidates for federal office to disclose more background information in response to Santos’ scandals.
  • However, House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) has suggested he’s content to leave the heavy lifting to McCarthy, telling reporters at a press conference on Thursday: “This is an issue Republicans need to handle. Clean up your house."

Go deeper: McCarthy stands by Santos as GOP calls for his resignation mount

Editor's note: This article has been updated with comment from Rep. Max Miller.

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