Six Republican freshman congressman from New York introduced legislation on Wednesday inspired by fellow GOP first-year Rep. George Santos that seeks to block embattled House members from profiting off of fame garnered as a result of any public scandals or controversies.
Rep. Anthony D’Esposito, who represents New York’s 4th district bordering Santos’ 6th, led the charge in introducing the two-set legislative package aimed at preventing House Members “from financially profiting off any actions they engaged in that violate certain election laws and other federal statutes.
The first proposal, No Fame for Fraud Resolution, “would change rules governing the House of Representatives to ensure current House Members indicated for violations of the Federal Election Act of 1971, or any other offenses that Members of Congress may lose their congressional pension for, cannot financially profit off their story,” according to D’Esposito’s office.
The No Fortune for Fraud Act, the second measure, “ensures current or former House Members found guilty of violating the Federal Election Act of 1971, or other laws that would bar them from receiving their congressional pension, are not able to financially profit off their story,” D’Esposito’s office says.
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Both seek to block compensation for biographies, media appearances or other creative works.
“I am committed to advancing good, accountable government here in our Nation’s capital, and that includes preventing elected officials who broke the public’s trust from profiting from their misdeeds,” D’Esposito said in a statement. “With artists, liars, and fabulists who lied their way into Congress should not be able to monetize their lies, and this legislative package would ensure they are unable to do so. I spent the greater part of my career keeping criminals off the streets of New York, and now I want to keep fraudsters out of the halls of Congress.”
The legislation is co-sponsored by Reps. Nick LaLota, Mike Lawler, Nick Langworthy, Marc Molinaro and Brandon Williams – all freshmen from New York State.
Last week, the House Committee on Ethics formally launched an investigation to determine whether Santos “may have: engaged in unlawful activity with respect to his 2022 congressional campaign; failed to properly disclose required information on statements filed with the House; violated federal conflict of interest laws in connection with his role in a firm providing fiduciary services; and/or engaged in sexual misconduct towards an individual seeking employment in his congressional office.”
Santos infamously refused to step down in January despite his own local GOP party in Long Island’s Nassau County demanding his immediate resignation namely for lying about having Jewish ancestry, having attended Baruch College and having worked at two lucrative Wall Street firms before pursuing a political career.
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House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has said Santos would only be thrown out of Congress if investigations prove he violated campaign finance laws. Revelations about Santos’ resume embellishments, which spiraled into a deep dive into the 34-year-old’s tenebrous past, were not reported by the New York Times until late December, after the midterm elections.
“No member, of any political party, should be able to profit off their crimes, lies, indictments, or fraud. Liars and cheats should not reap any reward from their deception,” LaLota said in a statement. “I ran on restoring transparency and accountability to our government because I believe that our constituents should be able to trust their representatives and know that we are fighting for them every day. Helping make our country a better, safer, and more prosperous place, not trying to land a deal with Netflix.”
“No one should be permitted to profiteer off of their own lies, especially not an elected representative,” Lawler said. “As a public official, I take these crimes seriously and have always strived to hold myself to the highest ethical standard. Anyone who commits fraud has betrayed the public trust and has no place serving in Congress – period.”
“Members of Congress should not be able to enrich themselves based on the title they hold, and that certainly should apply to anyone who is convicted of fraud,” Langworthy said. “This bill will send a loud and clear message that you won’t be able to turn your shame into wealth and fame. I applaud my colleague, Congressman D’Esposito, who is a decorated public servant, for leading this charge to maintain honesty and integrity in our institution.”
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“Democrat or Republican, if a politician scams the public, they should not be allowed to turn that into a profit. I’m proud to be a cosponsor of these bills,” Molinaro added.
Fox News Digital reached out to Santos’ congressional office and Netflix for comment Thursday but did not hear back before publication.