Moments after it became clear that House Republicans had coalesced around House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) as their nominee for speaker, New York Republicans put out a statement vowing to go after one of their own — at least, they will once the House gets back to functioning as a governing body.
Rep. Anthony D’Esposito (R-NY) announced the plan to try to expel Rep. George Santos (R-NY) from the House ~again~ in a tweet Wednesday, tagging five other New York Republicans who are co-sponsoring the impending expulsion resolution.
D’Esposito and the other co-sponsors have previously called on Santos to resign and a few have indicated their support for expulsion efforts in the past. But the last time the measure was brought forward by Democrats following Santos’ first indictment, they caved to pressure from then-House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA). At the time, McCarthy shielded his caucus from weighing in seriously on the charges against Santos when he directed Republicans to get in line behind a motion to refer the matter to the House Ethics panel.
It appears the group is now banking on the fact that a new speaker may handle the matter differently. Or, as Santos himself suggested in response, the group is capitalizing on Santos’ unpopularity back home and prioritizing their own reelections prospects coming up next year.
“It’s disheartening to witness my colleagues prioritize their campaigns over the essential work that needs to be done,” Santos said in a statement, before pleading his case and mixing in a dash of election interference bait to boot.
Whether it’s a messaging strategy or not, it is unclear how or when the group of New York Republicans will be able to even file such a resolution. House business is effectively ground to a halt until a new speaker is elected. While Republicans threw their support behind Scalise 113-99 in private, it is unclear when an official floor vote will actually take place, as detractors and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) supporters have already begun publicly indicating they’re not going to just fall in line. The whole thing could ultimately end in the same brand of mess we saw back in January.
And beyond all of that, House Republicans still hold an incredibly slim majority. There hasn’t been much of an appetite for ousting the Republican, as it would risk losing Santos’ vulnerable seat to a Democrat. That may prove to be too high a price for the new Republican leadership (if they’re ever elected), no matter how shameless and explosive the new allegations outlined in the superseding indictment may be.
The Best Of TPM Today
Here’s what you should read this evening:
In case you missed it last night: Santos Indicted Over Credit Card Scheme That Was First Reported By TPM
Yesterday’s Most Read Story
World Gone Mad Miscellany — Josh Marshall