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Why does disgraced former American congressperson, George Santos (AKA Anthony Devolder AKA Anthony Zabrovsky allegedly AKA Kitara Ravache) still have access to the United States of America's Congressional House floor?

According to this news video:

"Take a look, this is video of George Santos back on Capitol Hill for this first time after getting kicked out of Congress. He still holds the privilege of accessing the House floor, so he was there in person."

Common sense would dictate that once one is expelled from the USA's Congress, they would no longer have access to the House floor. But apparently, common sense isn't too common in American politics.

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  • Aren't these events open to the general public? It seems they let in a certain amount of people who have no present or prior connection with government whatsoever. Provided he doesn't show up armed or disrupt the proceedings, he has as much right to be there as any random person - at least until they put him in jail, that is... Commented Mar 9 at 17:34
  • @DarrelHoffman There's a gallery for visitors, I don't think the public is generally allowed on the House floor.
    – Barmar
    Commented Mar 10 at 13:44

2 Answers 2

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While George Santos is currently allowed on the House floor, if found guilty of charges related to the election that privilege will be revoked.

Rules of the House, 118th Congress

RULE IV
The Hall of the House
Use and admittance

  1. (a) Only the following persons shall be admitted to the Hall of the House or rooms leading thereto:

       (15) Former Members, ...

  1. (a) A former Member, ... shall not be entitled to the privilege of admission to the Hall of the House and rooms leading thereto if such individual—

       (4) has been convicted by a court of record for the commission of a crime in relation to that individual’s election to, or service to, the House.

Department of Justice, Press Release, October 10, 2023

Santos Allegedly Filed Fraudulent Fundraising Reports with the FEC to Obtain Financial Support for His Campaign and Repeatedly Charged the Credit Cards of Campaign Contributors Without Authorization

George Santos, ejected from House and facing fraud trial, will run again in N.Y., March 8, 2024

While campaigning for office, Santos also will be preparing for his federal fraud trial, scheduled to begin in September on Long Island.

Among the nearly two dozen charges he faces, Santos is accused of ripping off former campaign donors. Santos has denied any wrongdoing.

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    And if he wins reelection he is let back in. That too is the rule, though I can't cite the location.
    – Joshua
    Commented Mar 10 at 0:18
  • 1
    @Joshua - "Rule IV 2(a)(1) Members of Congress, Members-elect, ..." There are 17 clauses in paragraph 2(a), only number (15) was necessary to answer the question.
    – Rick Smith
    Commented Mar 10 at 0:44
  • @Joshua: He's (probably) not going to win the primary in LaLota's district, so it is unlikely to matter anyway.
    – Kevin
    Commented Mar 10 at 17:31
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No fan of Santos, but this is not unusual. Selected Privileges and Courtesies Extended to Former Members of Congress

Summary

After Members of the House or Senate leave office, they are afforded certain courtesies and privileges. Some are derived from law and chamber rules, but others are courtesies that have been extended as a matter of custom. Some of these privileges and courtesies include the following:

  • access to the floor of the chamber in which a former Member served;
  • short-term franking privileges;
  • access to parking facilities and athletic or wellness facilities;
  • access to House or Senate administrative services and dining facilities; and
  • access to materials through the Congressional Research Service (CRS) and the Library of Congress

Sure, they could have gone out of their way to rescind that, somehow, but is that so important? Maybe sending him to jail for his various frauds would solve that issue even better.

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    Thanks for the excellent answer. Wow, that's quite a list of perks! Imagine having access to all those perks for all your previous employers! But real companies don't do that because it wouldn't be anonymous taxpayers paying for all the perks. What surprises me most is that they don't exclude expelled members from the valuable perks. Commented Mar 9 at 0:37
  • 3
    @EndAnti-SemiticHate I think you'll find politicians, in many countries, have extended themselves a vast array of post-service perks, at taxpayer expense. Not least usually in pensions. Commented Mar 9 at 0:47
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    Yes, definitely. And, in most cases, it's rather ugly and entirely self-serving. So much for "public service". Commented Mar 9 at 0:49
  • IMHO, it would make a little more sense if you lost these privileges when ejected from Congress. This would even provide a small incentive to resigning when you can tell that ejection is likely.
    – Barmar
    Commented Mar 10 at 13:48

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