Congressman George Santos returned to Capitol Hill on Thursday after being arrested for unemployment fraud the day before. It was time to vote on a bill addressing the exact subject.
It was a perfectly scripted moment to cap off a two-day media circus around his case in New York, where he was charged with 13 counts of felony. He pleaded not guilty and vowed to fight the charges in court.
Upon entering the building on Thursday, the MP was bombarded with questions about whether it was right to vote on such a bill while he was facing criminal charges for violating the law. The House is scheduled to vote on the bill on Thursday afternoon.
Additionally, Mr. Santos is a co-sponsor of legislation that would strengthen US fraud laws by expanding the statute of limitations for these investigations and giving states greater incentives to investigate and detect fraud.
“Well, allegations aren’t proof, Rachel?” The Republican congressman began barking at the reporter as he was running down the stairs away from the assembled reporters.
Mr Santos surrendered to New York authorities on Wednesday. His indictment comes after months of rumors that a federal investigation into a new Republican who allegedly lied about nearly every aspect of his background during the 2022 Congress has come to a halt. Among other lies, Santos is said to have lied about being of Jewish descent from Holocaust survivors and about being a graduate of Baruch College in New York.
Since arriving at the Capitol, he has faced near-constant calls for his resignation or expulsion from some Republicans and Democrats such as Mitt Romney, who on Wednesday reiterated calls for Mr. Santos’ immediate resignation when news of the indictment broke.
But Mr. Santos was adamant that he would continue to represent his district, even as several challengers on both sides of the aisle lined up to unseat him. He also claimed that he would contest the elections again in 2024.
Although he has few allies on Capitol Hill, Mr. Santos has developed many political friendships and given away many floor-seats among far-right Republicans like Marjorie Taylor Greene as he seeks to fill the field with legitimate congressional work.