WASHINGTON — Rep. George Santos, RN.Y., offered Thursday to cosponsor a new Republican-backed bill that is designed to prevent you from profiting from falsifications of your resume or biography if you are convicted of certain crimes.
New York Republican Representatives Anthony D’Esposito, Brandon Williams and Nicholas Lalota unveiled the legislation earlier this week. The No Fortune For Fraud Act would prevent members of Congress from benefiting financially from any actions they have taken that violate the Federal Election Act of 1971, or any other crime for which members could lose their pension.
In a letter to D’Esposito, the bill’s primary sponsor, Santos offered to officially sign on as a supporter Thursday, asking D’Esposito to join him on «other similar cleanup legislation.»
Santos separately told NBC News that the measure introduced by D’Esposito is «a good bill» that deals with «good governance.»
D’Esposito was the first House Republican to call for Santos’ resignation over revelations that the first-term lawmaker embellished his background and work experience while running for Congress.
When asked about D’Esposito, Santos said: «He’s acting judge and jury and I think that’s irresponsible. But on another, lighter note, I think it’s a great bill that holds the government to account. And I think the American people are sick and tired of seeing politicians come here to get rich. I ran on that platform.»
Santos added that he plans to introduce some «good housekeeping bills… that reflect the same kind of public trust for the American people.»
The bill currently has five cosponsors, all New York Republicans, but Santos will not join that list, D’Esposito said.
Santos will «absolutely not» co-sponsor the bill, D’Esposito said in a brief interview Thursday, adding that Santos was the «poster child of bad government.»
“I take George Santos’s sponsorship of good government legislation as seriously as Sam Bankman-Fried’s teaching a business ethics course,” D’Esposito said in a separate statement.
The tug-of-war represents the latest plot twist in New York Republicans’ attempts to distance themselves from their scandal-plagued colleague, and Santos’ persistent refusals to resign or get out of the way.
D’Esposito, Williams and Lalota strongly criticized Santos when they introduced their legislation on Tuesday.
“If you’re letting the American people down, if you’re mocking the House of People or violating campaign finance law, you shouldn’t be able to make it a payday,” D’Esposito said at the time. “If scammers like George Santos are charged or convicted of the crimes listed in my legislation, our legislation will not be able to make money from a book deal, a TV movie, Dancing with the Stars or the next Netflix special.” .
Santos first came under scrutiny after The New York Times published a bombshell investigation in December, suggesting that much of his resume appeared to have been fabricated, including claims that he owned numerous properties, had previously been an employee of Goldman Sachs and Citigroup, and had graduated from Baruch College. He has also lied about how his mother was at the World Trade Center during the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
The New York congressman faces several investigations at the state and federal levels, including one recently opened by the House Ethics Committee.
kyle stewart and Liz Brown-Kaiser contributed.