Professional fabulist and massive Republican liability Rep. George Santos told fellow Republicans in a closed-door meeting that he would voluntarily step down from his committee assignments, Politico, CNN, and Punchbowl News report. He is on the Science and Small Business committees. Santos himself wouldn’t confirm this with Politico.
According to The Washington Post’s source from the meeting, Santos told his colleagues he would step down because “he’s a distraction.”
Two possibilities exist for the reason behind this, and they are definitely not mutually exclusive: 1) there’s another big and even more damaging story about Santos that’s about to break, and 2) Barely Speaker Kevin McCarthy is forcing it to get his conference rounded up and united in the upcoming vote to boot Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar from her assignment on Foreign Affairs.
McCarthy vowed Monday that he was going to “get the job done” and kick Omar off the committee, his retribution for Democrats having stripped both Reps. Marjorie Taylor Greene and Paul Gosar off of committees last Congress. But he doesn’t have the votes. Three Republicans—Reps. Ken Buck, Nancy Mace, and Victoria Spartz—say they won’t do it. Reps. Matt Gaetz and David Joyce say they are undecided. Rep. Greg Steube is out for at least a few more weeks recovering from an accident.
Forcing Santos to step off his committees could be McCarthy’s bid to sway a few of those resisters, showing that he’s committed to cleaning his own house and limiting their exposure to claims of hypocrisy.