U.S. Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y. walks down the hallway of the U.S. Capitol Tuesday, after multiple media outlets reported he was stepping down from his role on two House committees amid an ethics investigation. Photo by Ken Cedeno/UPI | License Photo
Jan. 31 (UPI) -- Rep. George Santos is reportedly stepping down from his committee positions amid an ongoing investigation by the House Ethics Committee into his past conduct.
The decision came after Santos, R-N.Y., took part in a closed-door meeting Tuesday morning with the House Republican Conference, Politico, NBC News and The Hill reported citing unnamed sources inside the conference call.
Santos did not speak to reporters who questioned him as he left the meeting.
House Republican Conference chair Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., confirmed the news to NBC following the meeting. Santos reportedly told his congressional colleagues his resignation was to "prevent from being a distraction," NBC reported.
The first-year congressman was assigned to the Science and Small Business Committees.
Santos, 34, has been under fire since before taking office earlier this month. He admitted to fabricating large parts of his work history and lying about his family background and financial dealings.
Nassau County Republican leaders called on him to resign less than a week after he was sworn into office.
"I met with George Santos yesterday (Monday), and I think it was an appropriate decision that until he could clear everything up he's off of committees right now," House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., confirmed to The Hill Tuesday.
In response to inquiries from reporters, McCarthy said Santos would need to first clear the House Ethics Committee investigation before possibly regaining his postings. For the time being, his spots will be filled on a temporary basis.
"Going through Ethics on some of these concerns. The voters have elected him, they'll have a voice here in Congress, until he answers all those questions then he'll, at that time he'll be able to be seated on committees," McCarthy said Tuesday.
A poll released Tuesday by the Siena College Research Institute, showed a majority of those asked in Santos' home district believe he should resign. Of those polled, 78% of voters in New York's 3rd Congressional District, which Santos represents, feel he should resign, including 71% of Republicans. Only 13% of those in his district feel he should continue.