List of United States representatives expelled, censured, or reprimanded

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The United States Constitution (Article 1, Section 5)[1] gives the House of Representatives the power to expel any member by a two-thirds vote. Expulsion of a Representative is rare: only five members of the House have been expelled in its history. Three of those five were expelled in 1861 for joining the Confederate States of America.[2]

However, the House has other, less severe measures with which to discipline members. Censure and reprimand are procedures in which the House may vote to express formal disapproval of a member's conduct. Only a simple majority vote is required. Members who are censured must stand in the well of the House chamber to receive a reading of the censure resolution.[2] A reprimand was once considered synonymous with censure, but in 1976 the House defined a reprimand as a less severe punishment. Members who are reprimanded are not required to stand in the well of the house and have the resolution read to them.

Expelled representatives

Year Representative Party State Reason
1861 John B. Clark Democratic Missouri Supporting Confederate rebellion.
1861 John W. Reid Democratic Missouri
1861 Henry C. Burnett Democratic Kentucky
1980 Michael J. Myers Democratic Pennsylvania Convicted of bribery in the Abscam scandal.
2002 James Traficant Democratic Ohio Convicted on ten counts including bribery, conspiracy to defraud the United States, corruption, obstruction of justice, tax evasion, and racketeering.[3]

Censured representatives

Year Representative Party State Reason
1832 William Stanbery National Republican Ohio Insulting the Speaker of the House.
1842 Joshua Giddings Whig Party Ohio Introduced anti-slavery resolution deemed to be incendiary, and violating the gag rule prohibiting discussion of slavery.
1856 Laurence M. Keitt Democratic South Carolina Assisted in the caning of Charles Sumner.
1864 Benjamin G. Harris Democratic Maryland Making statements supporting the Confederacy.
1864 Alexander Long Democratic Ohio Supported recognition of the Confederacy.
1866 John W. Chanler Democratic New York Insulted the House with a resolution containing unparliamentary language.
1866 Lovell Rousseau Unconditional Unionist Kentucky Assaulting Rep. Josiah Grinnell on the floor of the House.
1867 John W. Hunter Democratic New York Using unparliamentary language.
1868 Fernando Wood Democratic New York Using unparliamentary language.
1869 Edward D. Holbrook Democratic Idaho Territory Using unparliamentary language.
1870 Benjamin Whittemore Republican South Carolina

Selling military academy appointments.

1870 John T. Deweese Republican North Carolina
1870 Roderick Butler Republican Tennessee
1873 Oakes Ames Republican Massachusetts Involvement in the Crédit Mobilier of America scandal.
1873 James Brooks Democratic New York
1875 John Y. Brown Democratic Kentucky Using unparliamentary language.
1890 William D. Bynum Democratic Indiana Using unparliamentary language.
1921 Thomas L. Blanton Democratic Texas Using unparliamentary language.
1979 Charles Diggs Democratic Michigan Payroll fraud and mail fraud.
1980 Charles H. Wilson Democratic California Improper use of campaign funds.
1983 Daniel B. Crane Republican Illinois Engaging in sexual conduct with a House page.
1983 Gerry Studds Democratic Massachusetts
2010 Charles B. Rangel Democratic New York Improper solicitation of funds, making inaccurate financial disclosure statements, and failure to pay taxes.

Reprimanded representatives

Year Representative Party State Vote Count Reason
1976 Robert L. F. Sikes Democratic Florida 381–3 (with 5 "present" votes) Use of office for personal gain.[4]
1978 Charles H. Wilson Democratic California 328–41 (with 29 "present" votes) Role in South Korean influence-buying scandal.[5][6]
1978 John J. McFall Democratic California Voice vote Role in South Korean influence-buying scandal.[6][7]
1978 Edward Roybal Democratic California Voice vote Role in South Korean influence-buying scandal.[6]
1984 George V. Hansen Republican Idaho 354–52 (with 6 "present" votes) False statements on a financial disclosure form.[8]
1987 Austin J. Murphy Democratic Pennsylvania 324–68 (with 20 "present" votes) Allowed another person to cast his vote, and misused House funds.[9]
1990 Barney Frank Democratic Massachusetts 408–18 Used office to fix 33 parking tickets on behalf of a friend and wrote a misleading memorandum on behalf of the friend to shorten his probation for criminal convictions.[10]
1995 Bob Dornan Republican California Criticism of President Bill Clinton as having "g[iven] aid and comfort to the enemy" during the Vietnam war in a floor speech. Dornan's remarks were stricken from the official record and he was banned from speaking on the House floor for 24 hours.[11]
1997 Newt Gingrich Republican Georgia 395–28 Use of a tax-exempt organization for political purposes, and providing false information to the House Ethics Committee.[12]
2009 Joe Wilson Republican South Carolina 240–179 (with five "present" votes) Making an outburst towards President Barack Obama during a speech to a joint session of Congress.[13][14]
2012 Laura Richardson Democratic California Voice vote Compelling her congressional office staff to work for her 2010 election campaign and perform personal errands; also fined $10,000.[15][16]
2020 David Schweikert Republican Arizona Voice vote Permitting his office to misuse taxpayer funds and various violations of campaign finance reporting requirements, federal law and House rules.[17]

Excluded representatives-elect

Year Representative-elect Party State Details
1899 Brigham Henry Roberts Democratic Utah Denied seat for his practice of polygamy
1919 Victor L. Berger Socialist Wisconsin Denied seat on basis of opposition to World War I and conviction under the Espionage Act, the Supreme Court later overturned the conviction
1920 Victor L. Berger Socialist Wisconsin After being denied a seat the first time, Wisconsin's 5th congressional district reelected Berger a second time in a special election, to which Congress again refused to seat Berger, leaving the seat open until 1921
1967 Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Democratic New York Mismanaging his committee's budget in previous Congress, excessive absenteeism, misuse of public funds[18] Powell was reelected to the seat for one more term.

See also

Federal politicians:

State and local politics:


  1. ^ U.S. Constitution Online, Article 1
  2. ^ a b CRS Report For Congress Archived 2010-07-07 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Archives". April 11, 2002. Archived from the original on April 11, 2008. Retrieved 2007-11-12.
  4. ^ David E. Rosenbaum, House Reprimands Sikes For Financial Misconduct, New York Times (July 30, 1976).
  5. ^ Richard L. Lyons, House Censures Rep. Wilson of California, Washington Post (June 11, 1980).
  6. ^ a b c Charles R. Babcock, House Votes Reprimands for Roybal, McFall and Wilson, Washington Post (October 14, 1978).
  7. ^ Adam Bernstein, 11-Term Rep. John J. McFall, Washington Post (March 15, 2006).
  9. ^ Julie Johnson, House Votes to Reprimand Lawmaker for Misconduct, New York Times (December 19, 1987).
  10. ^ Richard L. Berke, House, 408 to 18, Reprimands Rep. Frank for Ethics Violations, New York Times (July 27, 1990).
  11. ^ Painin, Eric (January 26, 1995). "REP. DORNAN REBUKED FOR FLOOR TIRADE". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  12. ^ Adam Clymer, House, in 395-28 Vote, Reprimands Gingrich, New York Times (January 22, 1997).
  13. ^ Carl Hulse (September 16, 2009). "House Rebukes Wilson for Shouting 'You Lie'". New York Times.
  14. ^ H.Res.744 - Raising a question of the privileges of the House, 111th Congress (September 15, 2009).
  15. ^ John H. Cushman Jr., Democrat Reprimanded for Misusing Staff in Race, New York Times (August 1, 2012).
  16. ^ John Breshnahan, House reprimands Richardson (August 2, 2012).
  17. ^ "Rep. Schweikert sanctioned in rare action on House floor". Roll Call. 2020-07-31. Retrieved 2020-07-31.
  18. ^ "1967 Year In Review,"
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