One of the first pieces of business the House had after electing Speaker Johnson (R-LA) was to clean up its mess.
There were two resolutions being floors that I thought would both pass: the censure of Rep. Tlaib (D-MI) and the expelling of Rep. Santos (R-N.Y.). I was wrong on both accounts.
The measure to censure Tlaib was introduced by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA)…
Tlaib has been highly critical of Israel as well as pushing Hamas talking points regarding the bombing of a hospital in Gaza, even though the narrative had already been debunked by video and audio.
She has also demanded a cease-fire, with the White House even calling her comments and those made by other members of the Squad "repugnant."
On the comments made by Squad members, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stated:
"I've seen some of those statements this weekend, and we're going to continue to be very clear. We believe they're wrong, we believe they're repugnant, and we believe they're disgraceful.
"Our condemnation belongs squarely with terrorists who have brutally murdered, raped, kidnapped hundreds, hundreds of Israelis. There can be no equivocation about that. There are not two sides here. There are not two sides."
Santos misled voters in New York by running on a completely fabricated resume.
Many believed he should have been expelled immediately, but it would appear that the slim majority weighed heavier than the morality police in this instance.
New York Republicans introduced a resolution to expel Santos, and again, suspecting that every Democrat would likely vote in favor of this, it was only going to take a few dozen Republicans to vote in favor of the resolution to have him removed from office.
Santos is now facing a 23-count federal indictment for a variety of fraudulent schemes.
The censure resolution against Tlaib failed to pass by a vote of 186-222. Nearly two dozen Republicans voted in favor of blocking the resolution.
Greene was livid after the vote failed, stating:
"This is why Republicans NEVER do anything to stop the communists Democrats or ever hold anyone accountable!!"
Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) was among the GOP caucus members who voted against the resolution, which he said was flawed from the outset.
"Rep. Rashida Tlaib has repeatedly made outrageous remarks toward Israel and the Jewish people. Her conduct is unbecoming of a member of Congress and certainly worthy of condemnation - if not censure.
"However, tonight's feckless resolution to censure Tlaib was deeply flawed and made legally and factually unverified claims, including the claim of leading an 'insurrection'…I voted to table the resolution. In January 2021, the legal term insurrection was stretched and abused by many following the events at the Capitol. We should not continue to perpetuate claims of 'insurrection' at the Capitol and we should not abuse the term now."
Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI) also voted against the measure. He, too, tried to explain his vote, stating:
"As much as I disagree with previous comments made by Rep. Tlaib, First Amendment liberties are for every American, and I will support this constitutional right, whether the speaker is on the political left or right and whether they are speaking heinous lies or harsh truths.
"When we hear evil speech, we should not look to the government for the answer but rather speak up as individuals to denounce it."
Knowing how unpopular Greene is in the caucus, I was surprised but not shocked that her resolution failed.
The Santos measure also failed.
The vote was 179-213, with 19 members voting present. This was well short of the two-thirds majority that would be needed to expel him from Congress.
The big surprise here was that 31 Democrats voted not to expel Santos.
Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA) was among those Dems who voted to allow Santos to remain in Congress, stating:
"We will again have to consider, once those proceedings have concluded, whether he belongs in this body."
I am baffled how Tlaib was not held accountable for her words in Congress, as we have seen for far less violations that were censured.
She is free to say whatever she wants, as Walberg noted, but there are sometimes repercussions for those words, as there were for Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) when discussing the events of 9/11 and as there should have been for Tlaib using Hamas talking points.
Santos is another measure altogether. The Ethics Committee was tasked with this investigation almost immediately after Santos took office, and the evidence is fairly overwhelming against him, yet that investigation is still not complete.
Regardless of that, this particular issue is not about due process, so that argument is mute.
Congress is a privilege, and he violated that privilege by misleading voters about winning an election on a completely fabricated resume.
I am beyond disappointed in our representatives for allowing this con artist to remain in office. It is truly shameful that this man is representing the American people.