In a historic vote Friday, the House of Representatives voted to remove Rep. George Santos (R-New York) from his position, making him just the sixth lawmaker in U.S. history to be expelled from the lower chamber.

This rare action, which has not been witnessed in two decades, involved three unsuccessful attempts over six months and necessitated significant support from both parties to meet the high threshold of two-thirds of the chamber to expel a sitting member.

In the end, the final vote count of 311-114-2 exceeded this requirement, as 105 Republicans joined nearly all Democrats in removing Santos, who had been embroiled in scandal after serving only 11 months in office.

The only two Democrats who opposed the expulsion of Santos were Reps. Bobby Scott (D-Virginia) and Nikema Williams (D-Georgia).

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Reps. Al Green (D-Texas) and Jonathan Jackson (D-Illinois) abstained from voting.

Speaker Mike Johnson (R-Louisiana) oversaw the House during the significant vote and symbolically tapped the gavel in the quiet chamber, emphasizing the seriousness of the occasion.

The action drew new focus to the simmering conflicts within the Republican caucus but also revealed the extent of Santos’ unpopularity among members of his party.

Santos now must face a federal indictment on 23 charges relating to wire fraud, identity theft and various campaign finance offenses.

Many Republicans started to perceive him as a burden to the party’s reputation and a further drag in a challenging election cycle, where the control of the House is at stake.

Santos’ removal also presents immediate difficulties for Johnson and his leadership group, as their already narrow House majority has now become even slimmer just as they enter crucial fights to avoid a government shutdown and secure additional funding for Ukraine and Israel –  two contentious issues that have caused significant divisions within the GOP conference.

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