Democrat Pocan yea on expulsion while Moore votes no, citing due process.
By Peter Cameron, THE BADGER PROJECT
An attempt in the U.S. House to expel first-term Congressman George Santos, Republican of New York, from his seat failed Wednesday.
Santos has pleaded not guilty to 23 federal charges including wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, and credit card fraud. His trial has been scheduled for September of next year. He also faces a wide-ranging investigation from the House Ethics Committee.
The House needed a ⅔ majority to expel Santos, and it didn’t come close.
With a vote of 213-179, the House rejected the resolution to boot him. While most of the GOP voted against expulsion, including five Wisconsin Republicans, 24 reps from the party broke ranks to try to vote him out.
And while most Democrats voted for expulsion, including Rep. Mark Pocan of Wisconsin, 31, including Rep. Gwen Moore of Wisconsin, voted against.
Congress must be deliberate when it contemplates disciplining a member, Moore said in a statement, calling the push to eject Santos “premature and ill-advised.”
“While the criminal allegations against Rep. Santos are troubling, I first and foremost recognize the importance of due process and believe that it is essential to uphold the rights of all individuals, including those serving in public office,” she said.
She noted the House Ethics Committee’s investigation into Santos is expected to be released in a few weeks.
“Without findings from the Ethics Committee report or a criminal conviction,” she continued, “I believe only voters should determine who represents New York’s Third Congressional District.”
Five of the six Wisconsin Republicans voted no. Rep. Bryan Steil, Republican from Janesville, did not vote.
In a written statement to the Leader-Telegram newspaper in Eau Claire, Rep. Derrick Van Orden, a Republican from western Wisconsin, said “Due process is due process, and we are either a country of laws or we are not.”
“If Rep. Santos is found guilty by the court or the Ethics Committee, then I will work with my colleagues to ensure he is expelled from Congress,” he continued.
The expulsion attempt of Santos was brought by three of his fellow New York Republicans who will face tough reelections in 2024 and likely want to distance themselves from him.
The House has expelled only five members in its history — three during the Civil War and two after their convictions on public corruption charges, according to the Associated Press.
The Badger Project is a nonpartisan, citizen-supported journalism nonprofit in Wisconsin.