George Santos' first-ever bill co-sponsor is Paul Gosar, a GOP congressman who has associated with white nationalists

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  • Rep. George Santos has struggled to attract a single co-sponsor for his bills since taking office.

  • But he finally got his first one last week: far-right Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona.

  • Gosar co-sponsored Santos' bill targeting Confucius Institutes on college campuses.

In the six months since scandal-plagued Republican Rep. George Santos of New York took office, he has struggled to garner any co-sponsors for the nearly 30 bills he's introduced.

Most Republicans have generally sought to steer clear of Santos, with many calling for his resignation from Congress due to his many lies about his background and a recent 13-count federal indictment. On Monday, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said he does not think Santos should run for re-election.

And while any House member can propose a bill, it's almost impossible to bring that legislation to a vote on the House floor without the support of other members of Congress — or a seat on a committee.

But last week, Santos finally found one other Republican member of Congress who would endorse one of his bills: Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona.

On June 22, Gosar signed on as a co-sponsor of Santos' bill to block federal funding to colleges and universities that house Confucius Institutes — cultural and language programs backed by the Chinese government that have increasingly drawn scrutiny as a potential vector for malign foreign influence.

"Congressman Gosar first dropped a bill in 2021 to defund the Confucius Institute," said Gosar spokesman Anthony Foti, pointing to a bill that sought more transparency around the institutes. "This is an important issue to remove [Chinese Communist Party] influence on our college campuses."

But Gosar is no stranger to controversy himself.

In 2021, the far-right Arizona congressman was censured by the House and removed from committees in a bipartisan vote after he posted an anime video depicting him killing Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York. At the beginning of this year, McCarthy allowed Gosar to serve on committees again.

He has also cultivated ties with Nick Fuentes, a prominent white nationalist, including speaking at Fuentes' America First Political Action Conference in 2022. Gosar later told POLITICO that he'd "given up" on dealing with Fuentes. "Nick's got a problem with his mouth," he said.

But more recently, Gosar's digital director was revealed to be a member of Fuentes' "Groyper" movement, and the congressman promoted a link to an article on an anti-Semitic website that referred to two Biden administration officials as "Jewish warmongers."

Read the original article on Business Insider