U.S. Rep. Ritchie Torres, a Democrat representing New York's 15th Congressional District, said Friday he would introduce a resolution to revoke House floor privileges for expelled members of Congress after former Republican Rep. George Santos made an appearance Thursday night at President Biden’s State of the Union address.

“Expelled Congressman George Santos disgraced the United States Congress with his presence at the State of the Union last night,” Torres said in a statement Friday. “Santos was thrown out of the House on a bipartisan basis after a litany of lies, alleged crimes, sideshows, and embarrassments on the national stage. We have to be better than this, and that’s why I will be introducing a rule to bar expelled members from maintaining the high privilege of sitting on the House Floor.”

All former members of Congress maintain the privilege of accessing the House floor. For instance, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul was a formal guest to the speech of Democratic Rep. Adriano Espaillat, though she also has floor privilege since she served in the House of Representatives from 2011 to 2012.

Torres’ proposed rule change, the GEORGE (Getting Expelled Officially Revokes Guaranteed Entry) Rule, would bar that for those who have been formally expelled from the chamber.

Santos recently represented New York’s 3rd Congressional District for 11 months before becoming only the sixth House member to be ousted from Congress in U.S. history last December. He was indicted last October on 23 federal charges, including charges of wire fraud, identify theft and lying to election officials. A special election to replace him was won by Democrat Tom Suozzi.

“Name me any other example where you can get publicly fired from your job, leave in absolute disgrace, but maintain the right to come back to your old workplace as you please,” Torres said. “I view serving in Congress as the privilege of my lifetime — we cannot allow those who make a mockery of this institution to keep the perks of the job after they’ve been expelled. I urge all my colleagues in the House to join me in putting this absurdity to rest. Many House Republicans finally found the courage last year to expel Santos; let’s hope they find the courage once again.”

Santos posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Thursday that he is running for Congress again, this time in New York's 1st Congressional District, currently held by Republican Rep. Nick LaLota.


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