Scattered jeers heard as George Santos casts first House speaker vote for Kevin McCarthy

New York Republican sat alone on House floor as weight of scandals persists

John Bowden
Washington DC
Wednesday 04 January 2023 13:51 GMT
Tulsi Gabbard confronts George Santos over his multiple falsehoods

Newly elected House member George Santos was mocked on the House floor by at least one of his critics on Tuesday as he cast his first-ever vote in Congress for Kevin McCarthy to be elected speaker.

Mr Santos rose from his seat for only a moment to briefly say his vote before sitting back down, clearly eager to avoid attention. But in the half-second after he said Mr McCarthy’s name, a jeer could be heard ringing out from the Democratic side.

The exact quote could not be made out, but the exclamation was heard by several reporters in the room and picked up by C-SPAN audio.

The freshman New York Republican is suddenly one of the biggest names on Capitol Hill after reporters digging in to his background concluded that most of it was completely fictionalized. He has now admitted to lying about his business history, educational background, and even his religion, having falsely claimed on multiple occaisions to be Jewish.

He also faces questions about his company, which made millions in a short period of time through relationships with wealthy investors before shuttering last year.

Mr Santos faces calls for his resignation or removal from Congress from several Democrats, including his home-state colleague Ritchie Torres in the House. He has pledged to stay on, however, and serve a two-year term.

The weight of his scandals was evident on Tuesday as he sat alone on the House floor while other members conversed and spoke with one another — even far-right conservatives like Paul Gosar and Matt Gaetz were seen talking to people with whom they have great ideological and personal differences, such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

House Republican leadership has remained virtually silent on the issue of Mr Santos’s continued service; the GOP only has a single-digit majority in the lower chamber and is loathe to give Democrats (or their own fringe members) any further leverage.

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