House Republican leaders announced today that embattled Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) has voluntarily stepped down from his two committee assignments.
“We just got out of conference, and George has voluntarily removed himself from committees,” said House GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik during a press conference Tuesday morning.
Santos was given assignments on the Small Business and Science Committees amid revelations that he fabricated his work and education history.
He reportedly told colleagues during the conference meeting that his decision to step down from the committees was only “temporary until things get settled.”
Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green, who was at the meeting, told reporters afterward that “he just felt like there was so much drama, really, over the situation.”
The freshman Rep will be removed from Congress entirely if a House Ethics Committee investigation determines that he violated the law.
“If for some way when we go through Ethics, and he has broken the law, then we will remove him,” House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) told reporters last week.
The controversy over Santos erupted after reports revealed that he had lied about major parts of his background, including his work and education history, connections to an alleged Ponzi scheme, his mother’s death, and even his Jewish heritage.
He is also accused of using a fake animal charity in 2016 to scam a disabled veteran by raising money for their dog’s cancer treatment and then keeping the funds himself. Santos denies the allegation.
Stefanik said that she was very proud that in New York Republicans managed to “flip five districts to help deliver us the majority,” but “ultimately voters decide who they elect to Congress.” Speaker McCarthy told reporters today that he supported Santos’ decision to step down from his committees.