Like many new congressional members, George Santos is looking to get his name on key pieces of legislation in front of the U.S. House of Representatives — the higher profile the better.
But unlike other congressional members, Santos is falling short. Even with members of his own New York Republican delegation.
Santos sought — and failed — to be included in two legislative proposals offered by fellow Nassau County U.S. Rep. Anthony D’Esposito aimed to prevent House members convicted of financial or campaign fraud from profiting off such federal violations and fabrications.
If passed, the No Fame for Fraud Resolution would change rules governing the House, intending to ensure current members indicted for violations of the Federal Election Act of 1971 or any other offenses — which would cause them to lose their congressional pension — cannot financially profit off their story.
The second part of the package is the No Fortune for Fraud Act, intended to guarantee any current or former House members found guilty of violating the Federal Election Act of 1971 or other laws cannot make money off their story and will lose their pension.
These profits include compensation for biographies, media appearances or other creative works.
“I am committed to advancing good, accountable government here in our nation’s capital, and that includes preventing elected officials who broke the public’s trust from profiting from their misdeeds,” D’Esposito said, in a release. “Con artists, liars and fabulists who lied their way into Congress should not be able to monetize their lies, and this legislative package would ensure they are unable to do so.”
The congressman didn’t call out Santos by name, but Santos has been accused of lying about his past — including schooling, work history, and even his family. He is currently under a number of investigations — primarily for campaign fundraising — but has resisted calls to resign. Even from members of his own party.
The former New York Police Department detective said after spending a majority of his career “keeping criminals off the streets of New York,” he hopes to “keep fraudsters out of the halls of Congress” with this new legislation.
Surprisingly, Santos told NBC News he believed D’Esposito’s proposal was a “good bill” about “good governance.” Santos has introduced a bill of his own directly affecting elected officials, with his aimed squarely at the President of the United States. His bill demands mental competence examinations as part of the presidential qualification process.
Santos recently sat down with British tabloid journalist Piers Morgan and admitted to lying about attending Baruch College. He even apologized. But he didn’t admit to much else, except that he’s a “terrible liar.”
The congressman also faces several complaints from the Federal Election Commission regarding his campaign finances, contributions and fundraising methods. Last month, Santos named Andrew Olson as his new treasurer after the FEC warned he could not raise or spend money without one. Then, earlier this week, Santos announced his intention to seek re-election — a move that was required of him to help keep his latest fundraising up-to-date.
The House Ethics Committee created a subcommittee to investigate Santos, and if they discover he has broken any laws, it could call for his expulsion.
Joining D’Esposito on his bill are Republicans Nick LaLota, Brandon Williams, Mike Lawler, Marc Molinaro and Nick Langworthy. D’Esposito has openly called for Santos to step down from office, as well as many of his GOP colleagues.
LaLota said no House member, regardless of what side of the aisle they stand on, should be able to “profit off their crimes, lies, indictments or fraud.”
“Liars and cheats should not reap any reward from their deception,” LaLota said, in a release. “I ran on restoring transparency and accountability to our government because I believe that our constituents should be able to trust their representatives and know that we are fighting for them every day — helping make our country a better, safer, and more prosperous place. Not trying to land a deal with Netflix.”