WASHINGTON — Democratic Rep. Robert Garcia introduced a resolution Tuesday to expel indicted Republican Rep. George Santos from Congress.
The resolution is privileged, meaning that the Republican-controlled House must bring it up in the next two days. It would need a two-thirds majority vote to pass and remove Santos from Congress, which would require a significant bipartisan effort.
Speaking to reporters, Garcia, of California, said his goal in bringing up the resolution was to “put Republicans on the record” after Santos, of New York, was arrested last week. The freshman Republican was charged May 9 with 13 counts, including wire fraud, money laundering, theft of public funds and making materially false statements to the House of Representatives in federal court in New York. He pleaded not guilty to all charges and returned to Washington on May 10, the same day he was arraigned.
Garcia said that he has the support of House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., and has been working with Democratic leadership on the resolution over the past few months.
He argued that there is support among Republicans to expel Santos from Congress based on conversations he’s had with fellow freshman members. But, he acknowledged that it’s unclear whether the resolution has enough support to pass.
“I have good relations with them. I think they’re, most of them are not lying and defrauding people. … And so, people, including, on the Republican side of the aisle, are not interested in him being in Congress,” Garcia said of the Republican freshman.
Some Republicans, including several members of the New York delegation, have publicly called on Santos to resign following months of scandal, while Rep. Tony Gonzales, R-Texas, became the first GOP member to call for Santos’ expulsion on the morning of his arrest last week.
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., has not joined those calls, saying the New York Republican deserves his day in court. But McCarthy did say last week that he will not support Santos’ re-election bid.
Garcia and other House Dems introduced a resolution to expel Santos earlier this year, but that version was not privileged and was not brought up for a vote.
Garcia was joined in introducing the resolution on the House floor Tuesday by Reps. Eric Sorensen, D-Ill., and Becca Balint, D-Vt., who are both co-sponsoring the bill.
“The Republican party’s defense of this proven liar who’s been indicted on 13 criminal charges is [a] sign of the deteriorating health of our government,” Balint said in a statement.
The House has only expelled five members throughout its history, three of those for disloyalty to the Union during the Civil War by fighting for the Confederacy. The most recent member expelled was James Traficant in 2002, an Ohio Democrat who was convicted of conspiracy to commit bribery among other crimes.
This article was originally published on NBCNews.com