House Dem to introduce ‘GEORGE’ rule to bar expelled lawmakers from floor

Rep. Ritchie Torres (D-N.Y.) announced Friday that he plans to introduce a rule that would revoke House floor privileges for members who have been expelled from the lower chamber.

The “GEORGE” rule, formally titled the “Getting Expelled Officially Revokes Guaranteed Entry” Rule, would ensure former members who have been voted out of the House cannot use their privileges to return to the floor. The announcement comes a day after ousted Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) made a surprise appearance at Thursday’s State of the Union address.

Santos was expelled from Congress in December, when the House voted 311-114-2 to remove him from his seat. He was the sixth lawmaker in history to be ousted from the lower chamber.

“Expelled Congressman George Santos disgraced the United States Congress with his presence at the State of the Union last night,” Torres said in a statement. “Santos was thrown out of the House on a bipartisan basis after a litany of lies, alleged crimes, sideshows, and embarrassments on the national stage.”

The New York Democrat said he is introducing the rule because “we have to be better than this.”

Santos is facing 23 criminal counts connected to allegations that he misled donors, charged donors’ credit cards without authorization and fraudulently received unemployment benefits. The House Ethics Committee released a scathing report that said he “violated federal criminal laws.”

The former lawmaker has pleaded not guilty to all charges and is scheduled to go to trial in September. He said in December, however, that a plea deal was “not off the table.”

Rep. Thomas Suozzi (D-N.Y.) was elected to replace Santos in New York’s 3rd Congressional District via a special election last month. During Biden’s address before Congress, Santos announced he was launching a challenge to Rep. Nick LaLota (R-N.Y.) in the Empire State’s 1st Congressional District.

“Name me any other example where you can get publicly fired from your job, leave in absolute disgrace, but maintain the right to come to your old workplace as you please,” Torres’s statement said. “I view serving in Congress as the privilege of my lifetime – we cannot allow those who make a mockery of this institution to keep the perks of the job after they’ve been expelled.”

Torres said he hopes his Republican colleagues will vote to pass the rule, highlighting that GOP members “finally found the courage” to expel Santos and that he hopes they “find they courage once again.”

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