Scandal-plagued Rep.-elect George Santos “is certainly is going to have to consider resigning,” outgoing Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas) said on “Fox News Sunday.”
“Right now, he would not be on the committee that I led,” said Brady when asked by guest anchor Gillian Turner whether he would have been comfortable chairing a committee that included Santos.
“And, frankly, he’s got to take some huge steps if he wants to regain trust and respect in his district,” said Brady, who was the top Republican on the Committee on Ways and Means.
The New York Republican, elected in November, has refused to step down after investigations into his background found he falsified key portions of his biography from his Jewish ancestry to his career and education.
Whether the congressman-elect ultimately decides to give up his seat is between him and voters in his Long Island district, Brady said.
Brady said Santos has two choices: “politically ride it out” or “the tougher choice… own every lie that he’s made and apologize to everyone and anyone for as long as it takes.”
Asked whether Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who is seeking the speakership, should condemn Santos, Brady sidestepped the question.
Brady suggested Santos may be able to earn the forgiveness and trust of voters.
“We’re a country of second chances,” Brady said. “And when people are willing to turn their life around and own up to this and do what it takes and earn respect and trust again, you know, we’re willing to do that.”
But outgoing Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, a Republican and former House member, called Santos’ falsifications “unacceptable.” The House Ethics Committee should “deal with this,” Hutchinson said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”
“It breaches the trust between the electorate and their elected official,” Hutchinson told host Jonathan Karl. “We have to have more integrity in our political environment, in our elected leaders.”
Options for punishing Santos are “probably up to House leadership,” Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) said Sunday on MSNBC.
“Given the razor-thin majority they have, I think that’s unlikely,” Quigley said. “Any other job in the world, you’d get fired. Unfortunately, we don’t have that option in Congress.”