George Santos Easily Survives House Expulsion Vote

The US House of Representatives has rejected a move to expel New York congressman George Santos, who was last month indicted on fraud charges.

The vote was 179-213, far short of the two-thirds majority needed to oust a House member.

Twenty-four of Mr Santos’ fellow Republicans voted to expel him, but more than 30 Democrats voted against removing Mr Santos.

The first-term lawmaker, 35, denies 23 corruption charges and refuses to quit.

Only five lawmakers have been expelled in US history, including three during the nation’s civil war.

Mr Santos has been dogged by allegations of falsehoods throughout his brief career on Capitol Hill, and members of both parties had heavily criticised him even before he was indicted in May on a variety of fraud, theft and money-laundering charges.

In recent weeks, after prosecutors added more charges, at least five of his fellow New York Republicans pushed for him to be removed. He is also under an ethics investigation in the House.

Those pushing for his ouster argued that Mr Santos had cheated voters by misrepresenting himself.

But some Republicans said he should only be expelled if he is found guilty in court.

According to political outlet Axios, some Democrats voted to save Mr Santos as they were concerned about the precedent of expelling a lawmaker before either a conviction or an ethics committee report, though other Democrats felt that supporting the embattled Republican was “unreal” and “really weird”.

In a speech on the House floor ahead of the vote, Mr Santos said: “The loss of the presumption of innocence establishes a dangerous precedent that threatens the very foundation of our legal system.”

Also on Wednesday evening, the chamber rejected a resolution to censure Rashida Tlaib, a Michigan Democrat, over her criticism of Israel.

Twenty-three Republicans sided with Democrats to kill the motion by 222 votes to 186.

The censure was put forward by Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Georgia Republican.

A Democrat has put forward a tit-for-tat measure to censure Ms Greene for a long list of past comments, but House aides said they would not consider that measure on Wednesday night.

Beyond these internal disputes, the House must confront pressing issues that have become more urgent over the last month.

Former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy was able to get a deal passed to keep the government open.

That cost him his job, though, and he was removed by the right wing of his party in early October.

The House was then at a standstill as Republicans considered candidate after candidate for Speaker before finally agreeing on Mike Johnson.

With another possible government shutdown now looming in a matter of weeks, Republicans must quickly come together to pass legislation that can also win approval in the Democratic-led Senate.

Political fault lines could also rupture over foreign aid, with President Joe Biden recently asking Congress for $105bn (£87bn) to help Ukraine, Israel and other countries in the face of two major wars.

While Republicans have been united in their support of Israel against Hamas, they have been divided on helping Ukraine, with many conservatives opposed to sending more aid to the country.

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