House Democrats were ready for Republicans to fail to expel Rep. George Santos (R-NY) today. Had the GOP failed, Democrats would have highlighted this roll call vote as a signature event to demonstrate problems in the GOP.
They would note how the GOP House came close to hitting the debt ceiling. How they flirted with two government shutdowns. How they are now on their second House Speaker – after burning through three candidates for Speaker. And then a failure to expel Santos.
GOOD TIDINGS AND CHEER, UNLESS YOU’RE IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
But.. that didn’t happen.
Ironically, the vote to expel Santos could hinder SENATE DEMOCRATS.
Santos has only been indicted. The House had never before expelled a member who only faced indictment. Only Confederates or convicted felons.
THE HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE DEMOCRATS’ GAMBIT TO EXPEL SANTOS – OR EMBARRASS THE GOP
Across the Capitol Rotunda, Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., faces indictment and accusations of being a foreign agent on behalf of Egypt. Menendez has refused to step down – much to the dismay of his fellow Democrats.
Like House Republicans, Senate Democrats also have a narrow majority going into 2024. Democrats face an uphill climb to hold the Senate as many Democrats face re-election in swing or red states.
After the Santos expulsion, you can bet that Republicans will now make sure that vulnerable senators facing re-election – ranging from Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) to Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) – will be asked where they stand on expelling Menendez.
A new standard was set today in Congress – for good or ill.
Politically, Republicans scored a minor victory today. Yes, the House majority is now smaller. But the House is now rid of Santos. And simultaneously, the Santos expulsion manufactured an issue which may help Senate Republicans in 2024.
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And for the record, Rep. Rob Menendez (D-NJ), the son of the the indicted senator, voted today to expel Santos.