Freshmen congressional Republicans from New York who were elected alongside embattled Rep. George Santos have already said they want him gone.
Now they are raising the stakes, proposing legislation to bar him from making money off his story if he is ever indicted or convicted.
The group of six lawmakers, led by Nassau County Rep. Anthony D’Esposito, formally introduced two measures Tuesday, including one bluntly titled the “No Fortune for Fraud Act.”
What You Need To Know
- A bill proposed by New York's freshman GOP members of Congress would bar lawmakers from profiting off their story if convicted of a crime.
- Although the aim is to restrict any House member who violates election regulations and other laws from profiting off their own story, the six Republicans clearly have one House member in mind: Rep. George Santos
- Rep. Anthony D'Esposito is leading the measure, which is co-sponsored by Reps. Nick LaLota, Mike Lawler, Marc Molinaro, Nick Langworthy, and Brandon Williams
- Asked about the proposal, Rep. Santos said, “I haven’t been convicted of anything, unlike some of them who have been reprimanded for other unethical behavior"
“Should fraudsters like George Santos be indicted or convicted of crimes listed in my legislation — our legislation — they won’t be able to make money from a book deal, a TV movie, Dancing with the Stars, or the next Netflix special,” D’Esposito said at a Capitol Hill press conference Tuesday.
3 NY GOPers here to formally roll out legislation - taking aim at Rep. Santos. Other NY GOP freshmen also cosponsoring.— Kevin Frey (@KevinFreyTV) March 7, 2023
“If you are defrauding the American people, making a mockery of the people’s house … you should not be able to turn it into a payday,” @RepDesposito says pic.twitter.com/BIgSmFvw9A
The legislation is co-sponsored by Reps. Nick LaLota, Mike Lawler, Marc Molinaro, Nick Langworthy, and Brandon Williams.
Although the aim is to restrict any House member who violates election regulations and other laws from profiting off their own story, the six Republicans clearly have one House member in mind.
“George Santos is a scam artist, and we New York Republicans are here to stop him,” LaLota said at the press event.
The rollout comes five days after the House Ethics Committee announced they will investigate Santos, who has been battered by allegations he lied about his background and that his campaign may have broken the law.
He is also facing local, state, and federal investigations.
Whether Santos might be indicted or even convicted is an open question.
“Every day it appears more likely that a crime has been committed,” Williams said.
Asked about the proposal Tuesday by Spectrum News NY1, Santos pushed back, appearing to reference a report that D’Esposito — a former detective — was once punished for leaving his police-issued gun unattended.
“I haven’t been convicted of anything, unlike some of them who have been reprimanded for other unethical behavior,” Santos said.
While these six New York freshmen have been outspoken for weeks now in calling for Santos to resign, House GOP leadership has not gone that far.
Asked about this dynamic, D’Esposito said he has been satisfied with Speaker Kevin McCarthy, calling the leadership team “transparent.”
“We are very confident with our leadership, and we know that the door’s open, their ears are open and they’re listening to every concern that we have,” D’Esposito said.
D’Esposito says they have spoken with leaders about their legislation, and are confident it will make it to the House floor.