Two U.S. House Democrats file ethics complaint against Republican George Santos

U.S. Representatives gather to vote for the next House Speaker on the first day of the 118th Congress at the U.S. Capitol in Washington

By Moira Warburton

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two U.S. House Democrats filed an ethics complaint on Tuesday against newly elected Republican Representative George Santos after revelations that he made false claims about his background and work experience during his campaign.

Representatives Ritchie Torres and Dan Goldman, who like Santos represent parts of the New York City area, asked the House of Representatives Committee on Ethics to launch an investigation of Santos for "failing to file timely, accurate and complete financial disclosure reports as required by law."

Republicans won a narrow House majority in the November elections, meaning that members of Santos' own party would have to agree to go along with any effort to investigate or discipline him. The ethics committee is chaired by a Republican but has traditionally functioned in a bipartisan manner.

No. 2 House Republican Steve Scalise told reporters on Tuesday that the party was looking into the matter.

"This is something that's being handled internally," Scalise told reporters on Tuesday. "Obviously there were concerns about what we had heard and so we're going to have to sit down and talk to him about it."

The Democrats' letter came the day after a federal watchdog accused him of breaking campaign finance laws by concealing funding sources.

"Given the revelations about his biography, as well as the public information pertaining to his financial disclosures, Mr. Santos has failed to uphold the integrity of members of the House of Representatives," Tuesday's letter from Torres and Goldman said.

Santos in November won a previously Democratic-held seat. A New York Times investigation published after his election revealed that parts of his resume and biography - including claims that he was Jewish, his grandparents fled the Holocaust and that he worked at Goldman Sachs - were false.

Santos has since faced pressure to resign, including from some Republicans such as Representative Nick LaLota, who called for an ethics investigation into his fellow Long Islander.

Santos' office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

(Reporting by Moira Warburton in Washington; Editing by Scott Malone and Mark Porter)