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Rep. Robert Garcia of Long Beach introduces resolution to expel George Santos

Rep. Robert Garcia, the former Long Beach mayor, introduced a resolutionTuesday afternoon, May 16, to expel GOP Rep. George Santos.

The motion offered by Garcia, a freshman in the House of Representatives, is privileged, so the GOP has until Thursday to schedule the vote. It is not yet clear exactly when the vote will take place.

The move is expected to fail, but will put House Republicans on the record over Santos, the indicted congressmember who faces calls to resign from within his own party. Facing a slim majority and a critical debt ceiling battle, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy can ill-afford to lose a single GOP vote.

GOP leaders are debating how to handle the resolution to expel Santos, according to a Republican source. Since it is “privileged,” the House has to act within two days.

If they vote to table it, it would require a majority vote to succeed, meaning McCarthy can’t afford to lose more than four GOP votes.

If the tabling motion failed, then the House would have to vote on the underlying resolution.

If they go straight to a vote on the underlying resolution, then it would require a vote of two-thirds of the House to succeed. McCarthy has previously signaled he wouldn’t favor this route until the House Ethics Committee finishes its probe. GOP leaders have until Thursday to decide.

“George Santos is a fraud and a liar,” Garcia said in a Thursday statement, “and he needs to be expelled by the House.”

Santos has pleaded not guilty to 13 federal charges, including accusations of fraud related to COVID-19 unemployment benefits, misusing campaign funds and lying about his personal finances on House disclosure reports.

After his arraignment last week, Santos gave an impromptu press conference, during which he said he has been “compliant throughout this entire process.” But he blasted the indictment as a “witch hunt” and said he will “fight my battle.”

The one-page resolution reads: “Resolved, That, pursuant to Article I, Section 5, Clause 2 of the Constitution of the United States, Representative George Santos, be, and he hereby is, expelled 4 from the House of Representatives.”

Garcia, a progressive Democrat who was elected as California’s District 42 representative in November, said that Santos “needs to be expelled by the House.” District 42 covers much of Southeastern Los Angeles County, including Long Beach.

“News that federal prosecutors are filing 13 criminal charges against George Santos should have been the final straw for Kevin McCarthy,” Garcia said, “but he refuses to act.”

While Garcia authored the resolution, fellow Democratic Congressmembers Eric Sorensen of Illinois and Becca Balint of Vermont cosponsored it.

“Americans want to have faith in our democracy, but with trust in government at an all-time low it’s critical we take action to restore that trust,” Balint said in a statement. “Today, we’re calling on Members of conscience to stand up for truth and finally expel George Santos.”

SCNG staff contributed to this report.

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