Updated Jan 17, 2023 - Politics & Policy

GOP Rep. George Santos gets House committee seats despite blowback

 Rep. George Santos (R-NY) leaves the U.S. Capitol on January 12, 2023 in Washington, DC.

Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) leaves the Capitol on Jan. 12 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Embattled Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) has secured two committee assignments, despite receiving growing blowback for fabricating key details of his background that were central to his campaign, a committee spokesperson confirmed.

Why it matters: Republicans and Democrats have called on Santos to resign, and the freshman lawmaker faces numerous investigations into his financial disclosures, campaign finances, and outstanding legal issues.

Driving the news: Santos on Tuesday got a seat on the House Committee on Small Business, a committee spokesperson confirmed, and a seat on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, per three House Steering Committee members.

Flashback: When asked during freshman member orientation on Nov. 13 which committees he was aiming to be on, Santos told Axios, “Naturally, with my background, Financial Services.”

  • It emerged a month later that Santos never worked at Goldman Sachs or Citigroup, as he’d claimed while on the campaign trail.

Zoom out: McCarthy, balancing a fragile House majority, previously said that Santos would receive committee assignments.

  • Santos has maintained that he will not give up his seat in Congress, despite public pressure to do so. "I was elected to serve the people of [New York's 3rd District] not the party & politicians, I remain committed to doing that," he tweeted on Jan. 11.
  • "I will NOT resign!" he added.

What they're saying: Rep. Roger Williams (R-Texas), chair of the Small Business Committee, told Axios of Santos: "We will find a way to make him add value to [the committee]."

  • Williams also said he is concerned about Santos' record of dishonesty. "What he's said, the things he's done, I don't agree with ... I'm against all that. Nobody agrees [with] all that," he told Axios.
  • But, he said, Santos has a right to be on the committee as a duly elected member of Congress. Williams added that he can handle keeping Santos in line: "I employ hundreds of people right now in Texas. I've been through everything. This is not something that I'm new at."

Go deeper: McCarthy’s George Santos problem

Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional details.

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