WASHINGTON — A group of several dozen residents from New York’s 3rd Congressional District traveled to Washington on Tuesday to call for their congressman, Republican Rep. George Santos, to resign or be expelled from the House of Representatives.
“Santos has admitted his lies. Every day the press uncovers more lies,” Jody Kass Finkel, the founder of a group called Concerned Citizens of NY-03, said at a press conference outside the Capitol. “Santos is a grifter, and now he’s grifting his way toward a congressperson’s salary of $174,000 and benefits.”
After winning his election in November, Santos confirmed that he had lied about countless aspects of his personal biography, including his academic credentials, his work history and his ancestry.
Santos has already stepped down from House committee assignments as controversy swirls around him. Finkel and several members of her group said House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) should hold a vote to expel Santos from the chamber.
Reps. Ritchie Torres and Daniel Goldman, two New York Democrats who have tried to grab as much attention for themselves as possible amid the controversy, joined the press conference to amplify the group’s call for an ouster.
“We know George Santos is not going to resign on his own. He’s making more money in Congress than he’s ever legitimately made before,” Goldman said. “What’s his incentive to resign? It’s going to have to come from the top.”
Per the Constitution, the House can expel a member with a two-thirds supermajority vote ― something the House hasn’t done since 2002, when lawmakers voted to remove Rep. James Traficant (D-Ohio) after he’d been convicted of racketeering, bribery and fraud. McCarthy has suggested Santos shouldn’t face penalties unless he gets charged with crimes.
Finkel and her group partnered with Courage for America, a progressive advocacy initiative, to charter a bus to travel to Washington on Tuesday morning. Finkel said they planned to return to New York later in the day. No one in Concerned Citizens of NY-03 said they had voted for Santos.
Ben Marzouk, a Republican neighbor of Finkel’s, said it was sick that Santos had lied about his mother being inside the World Trade Center during the 9/11 terrorist attacks of 2001. Marzouk recalled being blocks away from the twin towers when the planes struck, as well as the numerous funerals the community held in the following weeks.
“To say that your mother was part of that, you have to be really psychologically impaired to throw that around like it’s nickels,” Marzouk said. “Mr. McCarthy, do the right thing. Expel him.”