Remember, the Republicans have already voted to censure Adam Schiff for the high crime of being the lead House prosecutor in the Trump impeachment proceedings and for daring to be critical of Trump in the 1/6 investigation hearings; the last thing they need is an excuse to start randomly kicking out people in the opposing party for being someone they hate. Granted, it takes a 2/3rds majority to expel, and the Republicans aren’t getting to that threshold themselves any time soon, but that wouldn’t stop them from inventing excuses to have expulsion votes.
That said, even if (when) the Ethics Committee comes forward and recommends Santos be expelled, I expect the vast majority of Republicans to vote against it simply for culttribal political sufficiency reasons.
Republicans can’t expel Santos or, on the Senate side, go after Menendez hard without being in a logically tough spot in defending Trump. Yes, logic need not always apply, but if you can avoid an awkward position then why not? The Santos expulsion vote looks to me like pure political theater, giving the NY Republicans in the House a chance to appear moderate and appeal to their voters while not actually harming the party’s power as a whole by actually expelling him and reducing the margin of their majority.
Having Santos in Congress is an extremely awkward position for them. I can see Democrats being better off with the motion failing. Costs them that seat now, but maybe pick up more in the next election.
I 100% expect that Republicans will boot him once he’s a convicted felon, or if the courts are taking too long I expect the House Ethics Committee report to come out perhaps around May.
That way they keep his warm body in the seat long enough to pass a few more things with the narrow GOP majority, then remove him before election day arrives so that voters’ short memories will move on to the next shiny.
I sincerely think they’re looking at their small majority today and betting that America is too stupid to remember Santos for more than a few months, and I think they’re mostly correct.
They want to eat their cake and have it too: No recommendations being made, but they will release the investigative report and feel that that should make it clear what people should do.
“The investigative subcommittee decided that they were going to compile the report, they would release the report to the, to the members, into the public, and based upon that, then our members can take whatever action that they felt necessary,” Guest said.
Assuming they concluded that the judiciary will convict him, so why take action? Consequences are:
One less Republican member to vote
Possible backlash from MAGA “Vote R no matter who” voters.
A small restoration of legitimacy to the party
The math doesn’t work out for them. He’ll be convicted and either resign or be recalled at that time. Then they only need to put up a facsimile of a threatening GOP contender in order to waste Democrat’s money in a race where the GOP will be crushed. If they remove him, it’s the same situation but there’s a longer period of fewer Republican votes.