WASHINGTON (AP) — Even as the House GOP leadership keeps silent, a veteran Republican lawmaker said Sunday that George Santos should consider resigning after the congressman-elect from New York admitted to lying about his heritage, education and professional career.
Texas Rep. Kevin Brady, a former House Ways and Means chairman who has served in Congress for 25 years, told “Fox News Sunday” that Santos would have “to take some huge steps” to regain trust and respect in his district. Santos is set to be sworn in Tuesday when the new Congress begins.
“This is troubling in so many ways. Certainly, he’s lied repeatedly,” said Brady, who is retiring from the House. “He certainly is going to have to consider resigning.” Brady said a decision about whether Santos steps down is one “to be made between he and the voters who elected him.”
In November, Santos, 34, was elected in the 3rd Congressional District, which includes some Long Island suburbs and a small part of the New York City borough of Queens. He became the first non-incumbent, openly gay Republican to win a seat to Congress. But weeks after helping Republicans secure their razor-thin House majority, Santos is now under investigation for fabricating large swaths of his biography. His campaign spending is also being scrutinized.
He has shown no signs of stepping aside. Last week, Santos was asked on Fox News about the “blatant lies” and responded that he had “made a mistake.”
The top House Republican, Rep. Kevin McCarthy of California, who is running to become House speaker now that the GOP will hold the majority, has not said what action, if any, he might take against Santos.
Brady said if he headed a committee that Santos was set to serve on, “right now, he would not be on the committee.”
The congressman also said that “we’re a country of second chances. And when people are willing to turn their life around and own up to this and do what it takes and earn respect and trust again, you know, we’re willing to do that.” Brady said he was hopeful that Santos “chooses the right path here.”
Questions were raised about Santos last month when The New York Times published an investigation into his resume and found a number of major discrepancies. Since then, Santos has admitted lying about having Jewish ancestry, lying about working for Wall Street banks and lying about obtaining a college degree.
Democrats are expected to pursue several avenues against Santos, including a potential complaint with the Federal Election Commission and introducing a resolution to expel him once he’s a sitting member of Congress.