New York Democrats introduce Santos Act with penalties for candidates who lie about qualifications

Rep.-elect George Santos (R-N.Y.)
Greg Nash
Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.) is pictured during the 13th ballot for Speaker of the House on Jan. 6, 2023.

New York Reps. Dan Goldman (D) and Ritchie Torres (D) introduced the Santos Act on Thursday — legislation targeting embattled GOP Rep. George Santos (N.Y.) — that would require candidates to submit more personal information about themselves when filing to run for Congress.

The legislation, called the Stopping Another Non Truthful Office Seeker Act, would require candidates running for a House or Senate seat to provide information about their educational background, employment history and military service. 

The bill would also establish a penalty of a $100,000 fine, one-year imprisonment or both if someone lied about their credentials. The introduced legislation comes as lawmakers are calling on Santos to resign after he admitted that he fabricated details about where he had claimed to have graduated from college, worked and his religious upbringing, among other details.

“The web of lies George Santos used to defraud his voters is a threat to our free and fair elections, and we have an obligation to ensure nothing like this ever happens again,” Goldman said in a statement.

Torres in his own statement called Santos’s fabrications “a stain on our Democratic process” and said it “threatens to corrupt” Congress. 

Earlier this week, Torres and Goldman filed a complaint urging the House Ethics Committee to investigate Santos over his financial disclosure reports.

The growing number of probes and controversies have pushed House Republicans in New York to call on the embroiled congressman to resign, though House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) is not backing those calls at this point. Santos, for his part, has remained defiant, reiterating to reporters on Thursday he plans to continue serving in Congress.

“I will not resign. I will be continuing to hold my office elected by the people,” the first-term congressman said outside his office this week. 

Tags George Santos

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