George Santos, a Republican representative, has announced his intention to leave the House of Representatives. Since he was elected in New York last year, there have been more and more calls for the 34-year-old to step down after he admitted to making up parts of his resume and biography.
Despite the controversy, he was put on two committees. CBS, the US partner of the BBC, says he told his colleagues about his decision at a closed-door meeting on Tuesday.
Mr. Santos said-
he would step aside temporarily until his name was cleared and apologized to fellow Republicans for being a “distraction”.
“The business of the 118th Congress must continue without media fanfare,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.
“It is important that I primarily focus on serving the constituents of New York’s Third Congressional District and providing federal-level representation without distraction.”
Because of this, Mr. Santos will no longer be on the committee for small businesses or the panel for science, space, and technology. The latter is responsible for scientific research and development issues unrelated to defense.
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He had previously billed himself as “the full embodiment of the American dream” He was the openly gay son of Brazilian immigrants who worked his way to the top of Wall Street before getting into politics.
But after he was elected in the midterm elections in November, Mr. Santos’ life story started to fall apart when some US news outlets found a number of lies.
He finally admitted that many of the things he said about himself in his biography were not true. He is also being looked into by more than one group for how he spent and reported money for his campaign.
Several of Mr. Santos’s fellow Republicans agreed with his choice to step down from the assignments.
“Without the ethics investigation being complete, I think it’s the right decision,” New York Republican Michael Lawler told the Washington Post. Mr Lawler had previously called on Mr. Santos to resign.
It comes one day after Mr. Santos and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy met on Capitol Hill, where Mr. McCarthy says Mr. Santos asked if he could leave the committees.
Mr. McCarthy told reporters that
“he [Santos] could clear up everything.”
Before, the top House Republican had decided not to do anything about Mr. Santos. In an interview with CBS that aired on TV on Sunday, he said that Mr. Santos had the right to be on committees.
Gregory Meeks and Joe Morelle, two Democratic Representatives from New York, wrote a letter to Mr. McCarthy last week saying that the “serious concerns” raised by the allegations meant that Mr. Santos shouldn’t be able to see classified information.
“The numerous concerning allegations about his behaviour over decades put his character into question, and suggest he cannot be trusted,”