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List of United States Representatives expelled, censured, or reprimanded: Wikis


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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 Details
1861 John B. Clark Democratic Missouri Disloyalty to the Union; taking up arms against the United States.
John W. Reid Democratic
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 that included bribery, obstruction of justice, and racketeering.

Censured Representatives

Year Senator Party State Details
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".
1856 Laurence M. Keitt Democratic South Carolina Assisted in the assault on Sen. Charles Sumner
1864 Benjamin G. Harris Democratic Maryland Made statements supporting the Confederacy.
Alexander Long Democratic Ohio Supported recognition of the Confederacy.
1866 John W. Chanler Democratic New York Insulted the House with resolution containing unparliamentary language
Lovell Rousseau Democratic Kentucky Assault of Rep. Josiah Grinnell
1867 John W. Hunter Democratic New York Unparliamentary language.
1868 Fernando Wood Democratic New York
1869 Edward D. Holbrook Democratic Idaho Territory
1870 Benjamin Whittemore Republican South Carolina Selling military academy appointments.
John T. Deweese Republican North Carolina
Roderick Butler Republican Tennessee
1873 Oakes Ames Republican Massachusetts Prior involvement in Crédit Mobilier of America scandal.
James Brooks Democratic New York
1875 John Y. Brown Democratic Kentucky Unparliamentary language.
1890 William D. Bynum Democratic Indiana
1921 Thomas L. Blanton Democratic Texas
1979 Charles Diggs Democratic Michigan Payroll fraud, mail fraud.
1980 Charles H. Wilson Democratic California Improper use of campaign funds.
1983 Gerry Studds Democratic Massachusetts Sexual misconduct with House page.
Daniel B. Crane Republican Illinois

Reprimanded Representatives

Year Representative Party State Details
1976 Robert L. F. Sikes Democratic Florida Use of office for personal gain.
1978 Charles H. Wilson Democratic California Making false statements to House committee.
John J. McFall Failure to report campaign contributions.
Edward Roybal Making false statements to House committee, failure to report campaign contributions.
1984 George V. Hansen Republican Idaho False statements on financial disclosure form.
1987 Austin J. Murphy Democratic Pennsylvania Allowed another person to cast his vote; misusing House funds.
1990 Barney Frank Democratic Massachusetts Use of office to fix parking tickets and influence probation officers on friend's behalf.
1997 Newt Gingrich Republican Georgia Use of tax-exempt organization for political purposes; provided false information to House Ethics Committee.
2009 Joe Wilson Republican South Carolina Outburst towards President Barack Obama during Presidential Address to Congress on Health Insurance Reform.


  1. ^ U.S. Constitution Online, Article 1
  2. ^ a b CRS Report For Congress


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