WASHINGTON – Congressman George Santos (R-N.Y.) announced Tuesday that he is recusing himself from his two appointed committee positions and the decision to do so was his.
The congressman’s brief time in office has been riddled with controversy, the most recent of which called into question the integrity of his campaign finances. According to a Santos spokesperson, the move is temporary until several investigations, including multiple from federal authorities, are “cleared up.”
“Nobody tells me to do anything,” Santos said. “I made the decision on my own that I felt like best represented the interests of my voters.”
Although Santos said that House Speaker Kevin McCarthy did not request his recusal, McCarthy told reporters Tuesday that he felt it was the “appropriate” decision. McCarthy had appointed Santos to the House Small Business Committee and the Science, Space and Technology Committee less than two weeks ago.
78% of constituents from New York’s 3rd Congressional district believe Santos should resign from Congress completely, according to a Newsday/Siena College poll released on Tuesday. That includes a significant portion of GOP voters in the district, implying a major departure from Santos’ original voter base.
“This is a classic case of someone quitting right before they were going to get fired,” said New York freshman representatives Anthony D’Esposito and Nick LaLota. “While we, and the overwhelming percentage of Long Islanders we represent, are relieved to see that Santos will not be undeservedly sitting on committees, he should still do the right thing and resign.”
Santos’ decision comes as House Republicans debate whether they should remove Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) from her Foreign Affairs committee assignment. It’s not yet clear whether Republicans have the votes to remove Omar, or whether the effort to do so influenced Santos.
“He just felt that there was so much drama, really, over the situation,” Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) said. “Especially with what we’re doing to remove Omar from the Foreign Affairs committee.”