‘The country has been swindled:’ George Santos’s constituents take a bus trip to protest on Capitol Hill

‘We’re because Speaker McCarthy cannot hear us when we speak from Long Island,” one of the advocates says.

Eric Garcia
Tuesday 07 February 2023 21:21 GMT
George Santos turns on reporter after she asks him to apologise to voters for lying

Constituents of embattled Representative George Santos took a bus trip from New York to protest in front of the Capitol and call on Congress to expel the freshman Republican.

Democratic Representative Dan Goldman of New York joined advocacy groups Courage for America and Concerned Citizens of NY-03, the district that Mr Santos represents, at the House Triangle in front of the US Capitol.

“We’re because Speaker McCarthy cannot hear us when we speak from Long Island,” said Jody Kass Finkel, coordinator of Concerned Citizens of NY-03, who added that the organisation’s sole purpose was to remove Mr Santos from “squatting in our seat.”

Ms Kass Finkel criticised the fact Mr Santos faces an investigation from the House Ethics Committee.

“It’s just a delay,” she said. “No findings are needed to expel him today or tomorrow.”

Mr Santos has faced intense criticism about the fact that he has lied about multiple parts of his resume, from working at investment banks like Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, to supposedly being Jewish, since he won a seat in the ancestrally Democratic district on Long Island. Despite this, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has stood by the troubled congressman, though he has said if the House Ethics Committee finds he is guilty of wrongdoing, he would be removed.

Expelling a member of the House would require a two-thirds vote in the chamber, something that would be difficult to overcome given Mr McCarthy’s decision to support him and the fact Republicans control the House of Representatives.

Ms Kass Finkel told The Independent that Mr Santos’s fabrications have also embarrassed people in the third district.

“I mean, we've all been swindled, the whole country has been swindled. Nobody trusts him and that includes all the other constituents,” she said.

The protest comes after the Justice Department has told the Federal Election Commission to hold off on investigating Mr Santos as it conducts its own investigation, The Washington Post reported last month.

But Mr Goldman, the Democratic congressman, told The Independent that was not sufficient.

“I don't think that a qualification for being a member of Congress is simply that you're not a criminal,” Mr Goldman said. “Whether or not this is there is a criminal prosecution is separate and apart from the fact that he's clearly unfit to serve in this body.”

Ms Kass Finkel said it was important to have the event this week since afterward, Congress will head for an extended work period back in their districts.

Mr Santos will be one of many members of Congress who will be in the House chamber during President Joe Biden’s State of the Union on Tuesday evening.

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