Embattled Rep.-elect George Santos (R-N.Y.) on Tuesday cast his vote in support of House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) for Speaker, though rebels in the party pledged to block McCarthy’s bid for the speakership. A group of 19 Republicans voted against McCarthy in the first round of voting, leaving him well below the 218-vote threshold needed to secure the position. The House will now move to multiple ballots in the Speaker’s contest for the first time since 1923.
Santos tweeted last month that he would support McCarthy for speaker, and confirmed his plans to reporters earlier Tuesday, per Politico. Santos, who flipped a House seat for the GOP, has been embroiled in controversy in recent weeks after confessing to fabricating parts of his work, personal and educational history. Among his false statements were his claims of graduating from New York’s Baruch College, being a “proud” Jewish-American and working with prominent financial firms Goldman Sachs and Citigroup.
“I’m embarrassed and sorry for having embellished my resume. I own up to that … We do stupid things in life,” Santos told the New York Post. However, he still hoped to be sworn into Congress, which can’t occur until a speaker is chosen. McCarthy has largely avoided commenting on the Santos scandal. The embattled House member is facing blowback on many levels, as both local and federal officials have launched investigations into him and many lawmakers have called for his resignation or a new election.