George Santos says he'll step down from his committee assignments amid scandals
Rep. George Santos told his GOP colleagues that he will step down from his committees.
Santos has been mired in scandal after fabricating parts of his resume.
The congressman was set to serve on the House Science and Small Business committees.
Rep. George Santos of New York on Tuesday told his Republican colleagues during a morning conference meeting that he will step down from his committee assignments.
The decision comes as the embattled congressman has been mired in scandal after he fabricated parts of his resume and has been under pressure to resign from office. Santos was set to serve on the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee and House Small Business Committee.
House Democratic Caucus chair Pete Aguilar attributed the ping-ponging of Santos' congressional responsibilities to the "chaos" and "confusion" newly empowered GOP leaders have brought to the chamber.
"We have said from the very beginning that George Santos is not fit to serve on any committees," Aguilar told reporters at the US Capitol. "So we're pleased that they agree with us now."
"I just don't know if we can trust them — if this is just the decision of the week," Aguilar said, as the situation with the scandal-plagued New York Republican has left many flummoxed. "We'll see what the message is related to Mr. Santos for next week," Aguilar added.
Santos has come under fire in recent weeks for lying about his education and work history and his heritage before getting elected to Congress. He has characterized himself as a Jewish descendant of Holocaust survivors, though later said he only claimed to be "Jew-ish." The lawmaker has since admitted that he "embellished" his background and apologized for the fabrications.
Besides Democrats, a handful of Republicans in Congress and several in his home state have called for Santos' resignation, though he has refused. The news on Tuesday comes as a newly released poll found that 78% of voters in Santos' district want him to leave office.
Santos is also under investigation in Brazil over fraud allegations, and in New York over lying about his past. The congressman has denied any criminal wrongdoing.
Two House Democrats earlier this month filed a complaint against Santos, asking the House Ethics Committee to investigate the congressman. House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has said Santos will be removed from office if investigators find that he broke the law.
"George has voluntarily removed himself from committees as he goes through this process," Rep. Elise Stefanik, the No. 3 House Republican, said in a press conference on Tuesday.
Santos announced the move in a statement on Tuesday afternoon, saying it's "important" for him to "primarily focus" on serving his constituents "without distraction."
"With the ongoing attention surrounding both my personal and campaign financial investigations, I have submitted a request to Speaker McCarthy that I be temporarily recused from my committee assignments until I am cleared," Santos said.
"I want to personally thank Speaker McCarthy for meeting with me to discuss the matter and allowing me to take time to properly clear my name before returning to my committees," he added. "To my constituents, I remain committed to serving the district, and delivering results for both New York's Third Congressional District and for the American people."
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