Embattled freshman Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., on Tuesday told fellow House Republicans that he will recuse himself from committee assignments, said House GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y.
Santos, who was elected to Congress in November, has admitted to fabricating information on his resume and about his background.
Many Republicans have called on Santos to resign, which he said he will not do, and have called on Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., not to assign Santos to committees.
Santos announced his decision to recuse himself during a closed-door GOP conference meeting.
"George has voluntarily removed himself from committees as he goes through this process, and ultimately, voters decide,” said Stefanik, who added that she had supported Santos heading into the November midterm elections.
Asked if Santos should resign, Stefanik said: "This process is going to play itself out. … Ultimately voters are going to make that decision, whether it's in the primary election or in the general election."
The Washington Examiner's Juliegrace Brufke said Santos made his decision "after meeting with McCarthy last night."
"Per another source, 'He asked to hold spot open,'" Brufke tweeted.
McCarthy last week told reporters that Santos will be removed from Congress if the House Ethics Committee finds that laws were broken.
Unlike most members of his GOP caucus, McCarthy mostly has defended Santos.
"If for some way when we go through Ethics and he has broken the law, then we will remove him," McCarthy said, Axios reported.
Two weeks ago, McCarthy said Santos would be seated on committees. Santos was given a seat on the House Committee on Small Business, a committee spokesperson confirmed, and a seat on the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, per three House Steering Committee members, Axios reported.
The openly gay Santos also has been allegedly tied to a Ponzi scheme and to the cousin of a Russian oligarch, and has been accused of having competed as a drag queen in Brazilian beauty pageants 15 years ago.
Republican leaders in New York's Nassau County, from where Santos hails, have called on the lawmaker to resign from Congress over his "deceit, lies, and fabrication."
Former Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., wrote a New York Times opinion column in which he called on Santos to resign.
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