A group of senior New York Republicans on Wednesday called on newly elected U.S. Representative George Santos to resign from office, saying that he had repeatedly lied about his history during his campaign.
Even as Republicans in his home district in Nassau County urged Santos to step down, the new congressman rejected their call, telling reporters at the Capitol that he would not resign.
The Republicans made the call at a news conference hosted by the Nassau County, New York, Republican party two days after a nonpartisan watchdog accused Santos of breaking campaign finance laws in a filing with the Federal Elections Committee.
“I join with you, and I join with my colleagues in saying that George Santos does not have the ability to serve here in the House of Representatives and should resign,” said Republican Representative Anthony D’Esposito, who represents a neighboring district.
Santos, who represents much of Nassau County just to the east of New York City, has admitted fabricating much of his resume.
Republicans currently hold a narrow 222-212 majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. He won his November race over Democrat Robert Zimmerman by a margin of 7.5 percentage points.
But his victory was quickly overshadowed by media reports indicating that the persona he presented to voters was largely a work of fiction.
Among other claims, Santos said he had degrees from New York University and Baruch College, despite neither institution having any record of him attending. He claimed to have worked at Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, which was also untrue.
He also falsely said that he was Jewish and that his grandparents escaped the Nazis during World War Two.
“For him to make up this story that his parents were Holocaust survivors is beyond the pale. It is simply tragic and outrageous and disgusting,” Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman said. “He is a stain on the House of Representatives.”
No. 2 House Republican Steve Scalise told reporters on Tuesday that the party was looking into the matter.
“This is something that’s being handled internally,” Scalise told reporters on Tuesday. “Obviously there were concerns about what we had heard and so we’re going to have to sit down and talk to him about it.”
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Wednesday told reporters that Santos would not be given a seat on any key congressional committees.