The spotlight on Long Island’s most infamous politician, U.S. Rep. George Santos, has dimmed somewhat, and the freshman congressman with a penchant for fabrication remains in office despite widespread condemnation from fellow politicians and his constituents. The political fabulist has been busy dodging the media and introducing bills in the House, while also dealing with some of his potential criminal charges.
Santos has made a deal with Brazilian prosecutors on one of the oldest charges against him, that he purchased $1,300 worth of clothes and shoes in Rio de Janeiro using checks he stole from an elderly man in his mother’s care in 2008. According to the deal, which was first announced by CNN, Santos would formally confess to the crime and pay damages to the victim, a Rio de Janeiro-area shop clerk.
The deal also includes an agreement that Santos would not have to take part in a trial, and that he would be able to participate in the legal proceedings by videoconference. Although this marks the end of the 15-year case, his official admission of guilt contrasts starkly with claims he made to the New York Post last December, saying, “I am not a criminal here — not here or in Brazil or any jurisdiction in the world.”
Santos has also spent the past month presenting his first few bills in the House. On Feb. 28 he introduced the SALT Relief Act, which would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to increase the limitation on the income tax deduction for state and local taxes.
On March 13, Santos introduced the Executive Mental Competency Protection Act, which would require the sitting president to undergo an annual cognitive evaluation. While Santos argued in an accompanying press release that the bill was nonpartisan, he has frequently accused President Biden of mental incompetency on Twitter, rather ironically referring to him as a “pathological liar.”
His most recent legislative contribution was in response to a law recently passed by the Ugandan parliament making homosexuality a criminal offense punishable by life imprisonment or even execution in cases of “aggravated homosexuality.” The Ugandan law, referred to as the Anti-Homosexuality Bill 2023, makes it illegal even to identify as homosexual, and has been derided as one of the world’s harshest anti-LGBTQ laws.
Santos’ proposed bill, the Equality and Fiscal Accountability Protection Act, introduced last Friday, would prohibit federal funding from going to countries that have laws or policies that discriminate or criminalize citizens based on sexual orientation.
“My bill will send a clear message that the Untied States will not offer federal aid to countries found to be violating the rights of individuals based on sexual orientation,” Santos stated. “We as a nation have a responsibility to stand up for the human rights of all people, regardless of race, religion, or sexual orientation.”
Santos has been less than vocal about anti-LGBTQ discrimination in the United States, however, having publicly lauded Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Parental Rights in Education Act — the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill — in the past. He has also continued to align himself with far-right politicians like Representatives Marjorie Taylor-Green and Lauren Boebert, who have proven to be staunch opponents of the LGBTQ+ community..