Congressman George Santos Expelled, Oklahoma Delegation Split On Vote

Expulsion requires a two-thirds majority, a threshold not reached the two prior times a motion to expel was brought to the floor but was easily surpassed Friday.

Friday, December 1st 2023, 8:04 pm



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For the first time in two decades, and just the sixth time in the nation’s history, the United States House of Representatives Friday expelled one of its own: indicted New York Congressman George Santos. The Oklahoma delegation was split on the vote.

Since the Civil War, when 3 Representatives and 14 Senators with ties to the Confederacy were ousted, expulsions have been extremely rare: Pennsylvania Rep. Michael “Ozzie” Myers in 1980, Ohio Rep. James Traficant in 2002, and now George Santos.

The final vote was 311-114, with two members not voting and eight absent. Expulsion requires a two-thirds majority, a threshold not reached the two prior times a motion to expel was brought to the floor but was easily surpassed Friday.

The Oklahoma members were divided on the issue. Representatives Lucas, Cole and Bice all voted yes to expel, while Hern and Brecheen voted no.

"I think it establishes a dangerous precedent to expel a member,” Rep. Brecheen said in an interview earlier this week.

Congressman Brecheen said he, in no way, condones Santos's actions, but expelling him, he argues, goes against the rule of law.

"The precedent that we know is that we’ve never expelled a member of Congress,” he said, “absent a court declaring guilt.”

"The Constitution does not say we have to find someone guilty,” said Rep. Stephanie Bice following the vote.

Bice said the House Ethics Committee report released recently made clear Santos has violated House rules and doesn't meet its standard of conduct. She says he should have resigned.

"Unfortunately, Mr. Santos chose a different path,” Bice said, “and we felt like we had to take action."

"The integrity of the House must be maintained,” said Rep. Frank Lucas in an interview, “and, if anything, even more so at a time when there’s suspicion of all government institutions, we have to have the highest level of integrity."

Santos was immediately stripped of his position and the governor of New York formally notified of the vacancy in the state’s 3rd congressional district. A special election will be set for early next year.

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