House Republicans have decided to give Rep. George Santos (R-NY) committee assignments, despite a lengthy and growing list of scandals and calls for him to resign even by some fellow House GOP lawmakers — in part because they are concerned about the “precedent” for their own assignments it would set to give him nothing.
“Santos on Tuesday got a seat on the House Committee on Small Business, a committee spokesperson confirmed, and a seat on the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, per three House Steering Committee members,” according to a report from Axios. “Santos has maintained that he will not give up his seat in Congress, despite public pressure to do so.”
Santos, the son of Brazilian immigrants and one of the only openly gay members of the House GOP, was exposed as having lied about almost every aspect of his personal biography in his campaign, from where he went to school and worked to a false claim he was a Jewish descendant of Holocaust refugees. He is also under criminal investigation for his campaign finance practices, but as of now has not been charged with any crime.
Despite all of this, House Republicans are fearful if they cut Santos loose, the same standards could later be used to boot them off their own committees if they are ever accused of wrongdoing without immediate criminal charges.
“Concern among Rs is that if they deny George Santos committees now, it’d set a precedent for other members who are facing intense scrutiny from the press but have not been charged with a crime,” tweeted CNN congressional reporter Manu Raju. “Several GOP chairs have made clear they don’t want him on their panels, per sources.”
According to Axios, Rep. Roger Williams (R-TX), the chair of the House Small Business Committee, is himself reluctant about having Santos work on his committee.
“We will find a way to make him add value,” he said, adding that “I don’t condone what he said, what he’s done. I don’t think anybody does. But that’s not my role. He was elected. He represents a million people.”