Capitol Hill’s Biggest Winners and Losers of 2023
Plus: Tracking lawmakers’ unusually profitable stock picks.
It was quite a year on Capitol Hill. In terms of actual legislating? Nothing doing. But this year saw a profusion of chaotic events driven by flamboyant characters whose behavior rippled out to the presidential campaigns and beyond. This list is both an attempt to map the rise and fall of several influential figures this year, and a reflection on how lawmakers’ behavior leads to real and important consequences, for better or worse.
Losers of Congress
Once the jig was up and the North Shore Leader exposed Santos as a crook (with their reporting followed up by the New York Times and many other publications1), the Long Island Republican experienced enough public embarrassment to make a normal person wish they’d been snapped away by Thanos. But whether or not Santos actually felt shame is unclear. His attitude certainly hasn’t conveyed remorse, and his interviews and appearances suggest an almost psychotic level of indifference to public opinion regarding his alleged malfeasance.
His devil-may-care attitude won’t stop the endless legal problems he now faces or the hefty fees that follow, however. While Santos is now earning quite a bit of money on Cameo, he’ll be lucky if he avoids jail time. He’ll also remain one of the only lawmakers ever expelled from the House of Representatives.