Yesterday, Rep. Robert Garcia (D-CA) introduced the shortest resolution we think we've ever seen. The complete text:
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 from the House of Representatives.
That's just 31 words. Even if the members are just renaming a post office, it generally takes two or three times that many.
Considering expulsion is House "business" and so is a privileged matter. That means that Kevin McCarthy can't ignore the bill or delay it; he has to bring it up in short order, probably this week. This, of course, is not something the Speaker wants to do. What he wants, as he reiterated yesterday, is for the House Ethics Committee to conduct an investigation and to make its recommendations before the House, as a whole, takes any action.
McCarthy still does not impress us as a particularly shrewd political operator, but he's certainly shrewd enough to know that "Santos'" position is untenable. The Republicans have no hope of holding that seat in 2024 if he's still in it, and there's every chance he would drag down other Republican members, too. At the same time, McCarthy really wants that extra vote in his pocket for a few more weeks, at least until the current round of debt-ceiling chicken has ended. He would also like the political cover of "the House Ethics Committee said the Representative had to go."
In short, the odds are good that "Santos" doesn't last that much longer. But, House Republicans aren't going to be enthusiastic about voting him out this week, either. So, Garcia and the Democrats will probably lose when the new motion is voted upon. The blue team knows, and expects, this, they just want to get the Republican members on record as having voted to keep "Santos."
And as long as we're on this subject, challengers for "Santos'" seat keep throwing their hats into the ring. The latest is Zak Malamed, a Democratic activist whose primary project has been raising money for Democratic candidates under the age of 50. State Sen. Anna Kaplan (D), member of the Nassau County Legislature Josh Lafazan (D), St. John's law professor Will Murphy (D), and financial analyst and Iraq War veteran Kellen Curry (R) are also in.
As a general rule, the May of the year before the election is a little early to be declaring House bids. However, all of these folks clearly expect "Santos" to be shown the door long before that. And under New York's unusual rules for filling a vacant House seat, each party committee will nominate one person to run in a special election (as long as "Santos" vacates the seat prior to July of next year). So, aspiring replacements really need to get their names out there now, because the party committees could be choosing candidates within months, or maybe even weeks. (Z)