George Santos is becoming more of a nightmare for House Republicans by the hour

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George Santos’ indictment does not remove him from the House. Even if he’s convicted and put into prison, that still won’t remove him from being a member of the House before the end of his term. Only a two thirds vote to expel him can do that. But the longer House Republicans go without expelling him, the bigger of a political nightmare it’ll be for them.

If Santos is in prison and can’t even show up to vote, it would reach a point where House Republicans would gain nothing by keeping him around, so they’d likely expel him by then. It could happen sooner than that, depending on how quickly they grow weary of remaining tied to Santos as the headlines about him and his indictment grow uglier. House Republicans will have to weigh those worsening headlines against the value of keeping one extra House vote around (which they’ll lose anyway if he’s convicted and imprisoned).

If House Republicans were smart, they’d have expelled Santos on day one, before it got to this, and they’d have simply taken their chances in a special election. As things now stand, this whole scandal will get so ugly, the Republicans will likely lose the election to replace Santos. It’s all a reminder that House Republicans are very bad at this stuff.

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