In a historic vote, the House of Representatives moved to expel New York GOP Representative George Santos, making him the sixth lawmaker ever to be removed from the chamber. The resolution passed with a decisive vote of 311 to 114, with 105 Republicans joining forces with 206 Democrats in favor of expulsion. Notably, all four top House GOP leaders—Speaker Mike Johnson, Majority Leader Steve Scalise, Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, and GOP Whip Tom Emmer—voted against expulsion, aligning with 112 other Republicans.
The expulsion follows a scathing ethics report that concluded Santos had sought to exploit his House candidacy for personal financial gain. Although Santos survived previous attempts to oust him, the momentum for the latest effort increased in the aftermath of the damning report.
Santos had already announced that he would not seek reelection after the release of the ethics report, but he adamantly refused to resign. Expulsion is considered the most severe form of punishment for a House lawmaker and requires a challenging two-thirds majority vote to succeed. Santos’s expulsion marks a significant and rare occurrence, as he is the first member to be ousted from the House in more than two decades without a prior felony conviction, a distinction that sets this event apart from historical precedents dating back to the Civil War.
With the successful vote for expulsion, the House clerk is expected to take control of Santos’s office, and a special election, to be scheduled by Democratic New York Governor Kathy Hochul, will determine his replacement. The culmination of this process represents a landmark decision with implications for Santos’s political legacy and the standards upheld within the House of Representatives.