Posts tagged with "December 1"

George Santos is expelled from Congress

December 4, 2023

The House voted on  Friday, December 1, to expel Representative George Santos (R-New York) from Congress—an embarrassing end to his brief legislative career that was built on lies from the start, reports HuffPost.

The final vote was 311 to 114. You can read the expulsion resolution here.

Their action comes after a House Ethics Committee investigation found last month that Santos spent thousands of dollars in campaign funds on personal services and products—such as Botox treatments, Hermès designer products, and access to a website used primarily by sex workers.

The panel also alleged that Santos reported fake donations to his campaign in order to persuade donors to give him even more money―and then kept all of that money for himself.

The Republican chairman of the committee sponsored the resolution to throw Santos out of Congress right after the panel released its report.

There have only been 20 people expelled from Congress in its entire history; and most were in the Senate and kicked out in the 1860s for supporting the Confederacy. The last time a federal lawmaker was expelled was in 2002, when then-Rep. Jim Traficant (D-Ohio) was convicted of bribery and racketeering.

Santos is the sixth House member to be expelled, and the first Republican House member. His expulsion may be the least of his woes. He’s facing a 23-count federal indictment that alleges conspiracy, cheating to get unemployment benefits, credit card fraud and other crimes.

Santos has also been accused of lying about his résumé so many times that it’s hard to keep up. He’s misled people about his name, his Jewish heritage; being a descendent of Holocaust survivors from Ukraine; his mother being in the Twin Towers during the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks; and his mother being the first female executive at a major financial institution. Immigration documents show that his mother worked as a housekeeper.

The New York Republican has consistently denied he’s done anything wrong. Last month, he dismissed the House Ethics Committee’s probe into his finances, calling it “a dirty biased act and one that tramples all over my rights.”

In the wake of that report, though, he did announce he wouldn’t run for reelection.

Research contact: @HuffPost

Bipartisan Senate group introduces $900 billion coronavirus relief plan

December 2, 2020

A bipartisan group of senators has introduced a broad coronavirus aid framework—a significant breakthrough after months of failed negotiations, Politico reports, noting that it’s just the first step toward Congress finally approving a new round of aid.

Among those who are advancing the bill are three four Democrats, one Independent, and four Republicans: Sens. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia), Susan Collins (R-Maine), Mark Warner (D-Virginia), Bill Cassidy (R-Louisiana), Jeanne Shaheen (D-New Hampshire), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Angus King (I-Maine), Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and Maggie Hassan (D-New Hampshire); as well as House members. Separately, some other senators have held bipartisan discussions about a solution

The legislation would provide $908 billion in aid and also shield businesses from coronavirus lawsuits for a few months to allow states to develop their own liability reforms.

According to Politico, the proposal includes $160 billion in state and local aid, $180 billion in additional unemployment insurance, and $288 billion for small businesses. It also comprises $82 billion for schools, as well as $45 billion for transportation, according to a draft reviewed by Politico. And it builds in an unspecified amount for healthcare.

Still, Politico notes, “the newest measure is no lay-up, and several congressional aides said the likeliest route to a new round of aid is through Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.” Congress has not enacted a new significant round of aid since April.

McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have both called for more coronavirus relief, but GOP senators said, if there is an aid package, it’s unlikely to be attached to the spending bill due by December 11. That means it’s still uncertain whether Congress can actually clinch a new law before the end of the lame duck period before Inauguration Day.

Research contact: @politico