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McCarthy Says Santos Can Be Removed, But Only For Crimes

Bloomberg logo Bloomberg 3 days ago Billy House and John Harney
Representative-elect George Santos, a Republican from New York, during a meeting of the 118th Congress in the House Chamber at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, US, on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023. Republican Kevin McCarthy was blocked in his bid to become US House speaker for a historic ninth time on Thursday, leaving his party fractured and the chamber paralyzed for a third straight day. © Bloomberg Representative-elect George Santos, a Republican from New York, during a meeting of the 118th Congress in the House Chamber at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, US, on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023. Republican Kevin McCarthy was blocked in his bid to become US House speaker for a historic ninth time on Thursday, leaving his party fractured and the chamber paralyzed for a third straight day.

(Bloomberg) -- House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said George Santos, the embattled freshman representative from New York, could be removed from office if the chamber’s Ethics Committee determined that he had broken the law — but not until then.

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“Now, I will hold him to the same standard I hold anyone else elected to Congress,” McCarthy told reporters Tuesday night. 

Santos, who presented a largely fictitious version of himself when he ran for a House seat that encompasses parts of Long Island and the New York borough of Queens, has been denounced by prominent members of both parties. Two fellow Republican lawmakers from New York have called for his resignation. 

Nevertheless, he has been given spots on the Science, Space and Technology as well as Small Business committees.

Earlier: McCarthy Says Santos Can Stay Despite Calls for Resignation

“The American public in his district voted for him. He has a responsibility to uphold what they’ve voted for, to work and have their voice here,” added McCarthy, who presides over a very narrow Republican majority in the House.

At the press conference, McCarthy announced that two Democrats, Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell would not be allowed to rejoin the Intelligence Committee, making good on a long-standing promise and opening a new front in the chamber’s partisan battles.

(Updates with second byline.)

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