So long, Santos —Republican congressman shouldn’t be allowed to take office


Craig M. Fildes

Craig Fildes | Flickr

Karina Ordonez

Republican Rep. George Santos of New York announced on Jan. 31 that he is temporarily stepping down from his two congressional committees, the House Committee on Small Business and the House Science, Space and Technology Committee.

There have been numerous calls made for Santos’ resignation after the congressman was caught lying about his personal and campaign finances, as well as his resume and family background.

Santos has proved himself unfit to take office again and again. If his actions aren’t addressed and publicly reprimanded, other politicians might feel empowered to emulate them, resulting in a widespread distrust in political institutions that’ll impede their function.

Among many other falsehoods, Mr. Santos lied about attending Baruch College on a volleyball scholarship, as well as made misleading claims about working for Citigroup Inc. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

He even went as far as to say that he had a family-owned real estate portfolio consisting of 13 properties. In December, Santos revealed he was not a landlord at all.

Multiple democrats, including outgoing house speaker Nancy Pelosi, has argued that Santos is unfit to serve in Congress.

New York Rep. Ritchie Torres even went as far as to ask federal and state investigators to examine whether Santos violated securities laws during his time working for a Florida-based investment firm.

Unsurprisingly, this isn’t the first time Santos has been in trouble with the law. Past records indicate that the representative elect stole a man’s checkbook to buy shoes and clothing in Brazil over a decade ago.

Lastly, Santos claimed his maternal ancestors were Jewish and had moved to Brazil from Europe during the Holocaust, likely because he wanted to appeal to a certain demographic of voters.

The House of Representatives can only prevent candidates from taking office if they don’t meet certain age, citizenship and state residency requirements, meaning that Santos isn’t obligated to step down.

However, allowing a congressman that has so severely smeared his own name to continue to represent the American people, reflects poorly on the caliber of the government.

“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. That is what is in the best interest of his constituents and House Republicans,” Reps. Nick LaLota and Anthony D’Esposito said in a joint statement.

Based on recent polls from Santos’ district, voters who previously supported the Republican congressman are now outraged. 71% of voters expressed being frustrated at Kevin McCarthy seating George Santos in two committees; 78% believe that Santos should resign from congress altogether.

With this said, a “temporary step down from office” isn’t enough of a consequence. In fact, Mr. Santos should be blocked from running for or sitting in congress ever again.

“The hypocrisy just grabs you by the throat,” Rep. Adam Schiff said. “This is a Republican speaker who is seating a human fraud, George Santos, on committees, a serial fabricator about every part of his existence.”