Republicans Lose Strength With Santos Ouster

Republicans recently voted to end George Santos’s congressional career in expulsion.

What’s happening: Congress recently voted for the first time in more than 20 years to expel a sitting congressman: Representative George Santos (R-NY). It comes on the heels of a 53-page House Ethics Committee report and a 23-count indictment to which Santos has pleaded not guilty.

The charges: The indictment against Santos includes a multitude of allegations including fabricating his biography, campaign finance irregularities, identity theft, unemployment insurance fraud, and making false statements.

  • No limits: He was also accused of misusing campaign funds for personal expenses, including OnlyFans subscriptions, designer clothing, spa treatments, travel to casinos, and Botox injections.

Why it matters: The Santos expulsion, led by both sides of the aisle, whittles Republican Speaker Mike Johnson’s House majority down to three seats. The Speaker himself was among the 112 Republicans who voted against expulsion and pointed out Santos has not yet been convicted.

  • Down the road: The majority could dwindle further as Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH) is set to depart next year and Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) is reportedly contemplating retirement.

  • Watching 2024: Democrats seek to regain the House majority next year by targeting, among others, the New York districts they lost in 2022. Santos’s 3rd District is considered a swing district. Whoever wins the special election will likely become the front-runner to win in November.

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