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 six members of the House have been expelled in its history. Three of those six were expelled in 1861 for joining the Confederate States of America.[2]

There are also less severe measures with which the House is authorized 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.

Representatives can also be censured by their state legislatures and state party.

Expelled representatives

Year Representative Party State Vote count Reason
1861 John B. Clark Democratic Missouri 94–45 Supporting Confederate rebellion.[3]
1861 John W. Reid Democratic Missouri
1861 Henry C. Burnett Democratic Kentucky
1980 Michael Myers Democratic Pennsylvania 376–30 Convicted of bribery in the Abscam scandal.[4]
2002 James Traficant Democratic Ohio 420–1 (with 9 "present")[5] Convicted on ten counts including bribery, conspiracy to defraud the United States, corruption, obstruction of justice, tax evasion, and racketeering.[6]
2023 George Santos Republican New York 311–114 (with 2 "present")[a] Findings of fraud and misuse of campaign funds by the House Ethics Committee.[8]

Censured representatives

Year Representative Party State Vote count Reason
1832 William Stanbery National Republican Ohio 93–44[9] Insulting the Speaker of the House.
1842 Joshua Giddings Whig Ohio 125–69 Introducing an anti-slavery resolution deemed to be incendiary, and violation of the gag rule prohibiting discussion of slavery.
1856 Laurence M. Keitt Democratic South Carolina 106–96 Assisting in the caning of Charles Sumner.
1864 Benjamin G. Harris Democratic Maryland 98–20 Making statements in support of the Confederate rebellion.
Alexander Long Democratic Ohio 80–70
1866 John W. Chanler Democratic New York 72–30 Insulting the House with a resolution containing unparliamentary language.
1866 Lovell Rousseau Unconditional Unionist Kentucky 89–30 Assaulting Rep. Josiah Grinnell on the floor of the House.
1867 John W. Hunter Democratic New York 77–33 Using unparliamentary language.
1868 Fernando Wood Democratic New York 114–39 Using unparliamentary language.
1869 Edward D. Holbrook Democratic Idaho Territory Using unparliamentary language.
1870 Benjamin Whittemore Republican South Carolina 187–0

Selling military academy appointments.

John T. Deweese Republican North Carolina 170–0
Roderick Butler Republican Tennessee 158–0
1873 Oakes Ames Republican Massachusetts 182–36 Involvement in the Crédit Mobilier of America scandal.
James Brooks Democratic New York 174–32
1875 John Y. Brown Democratic Kentucky 161–79 Using unparliamentary language.
1890 William D. Bynum Democratic Indiana 126–104 Using unparliamentary language.
1921 Thomas L. Blanton Democratic Texas 293–0 Using unparliamentary language.
1979 Charles Diggs Democratic Michigan 414–0 Payroll fraud and mail fraud.
1979 Daniel Flood Democratic Pennsylvania Bribery
1980 Charles H. Wilson Democratic California voice vote Improper use of campaign funds.
1983 Daniel B. Crane Republican Illinois 420–3 Engaging in sexual conduct with a House page.
Gerry Studds Democratic Massachusetts 421–3
2010 Charles Rangel Democratic New York 333–79 Improper solicitation of funds, making inaccurate financial disclosure statements, and failure to pay taxes.
2021 Paul Gosar Republican Arizona 223–207 (with 1 "present") Posted an anime video on social media depicting himself committing violence against Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and President Joe Biden.[10][11]
2023 Adam Schiff Democratic California 213–209 (with 6 "present") Making allegations regarding Russian collusion in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and the first impeachment of Donald Trump.[12][13]
2023 Rashida Tlaib Democratic Michigan 234–188 (with 4 "present") Comments related to the 2023 Israel–Hamas war.[14]
2023 Jamaal Bowman Democratic New York 214–191 (with 5 "present") Pulling the fire alarm in one of the Capitol office buildings under non-emergency circumstances.[15]

Reprimanded representatives

Year Representative Party State Vote count Reason
1976 Robert L. F. Sikes Democratic Florida 381–3 (with 5 "present") Use of office for personal gain.[16]
1978 Charles H. Wilson Democratic California 328–41 (with 29 "present") Role in South Korean influence-buying scandal.[17][18]
1978 John J. McFall Democratic California Voice vote Role in South Korean influence-buying scandal.[18][19]
1978 Edward Roybal Democratic California Voice vote Role in South Korean influence-buying scandal.[18]
1984 George V. Hansen Republican Idaho 354–52 (with 6 "present") False statements on a financial disclosure form.[20]
1987 Austin Murphy Democratic Pennsylvania 324–68 (with 20 "present") Allowed another person to cast his vote, and misused House funds.[21]
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.[22]
1995 Bob Dornan Republican California Voice vote Criticism of President Bill Clinton as having "[given] 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.[23]
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.[24]
2009 Joe Wilson Republican South Carolina 240–179 (with 5 "present") Making an outburst towards President Barack Obama during a speech to a joint session of Congress.[25][26]
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.[27][28]
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.[29]

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 in a special election, though 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.[30] Powell was reelected to the seat for one more term.

See also

Federal politicians:

State and local politics:


  1. ^ Santos survived two previous expulsion votes prior to getting expelled on December 1, 2023. The two previous votes were held prior to the release of the report by the Ethics Committee.[7]


  1. ^ U.S. Constitution Online, Article 1
  2. ^ a b CRS Report For Congress Archived July 7, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "A LOOK BACK; Others Expelled From the House". The New York Times. July 25, 2002. p. A13. Retrieved December 1, 2023.
  4. ^ Babcock, Charles R. (October 3, 1980). "Myers Expelled, 376-30". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 2, 2023.
  5. ^ Mitchell, Alison (July 25, 2002). "House Votes, With Lone Dissent From Condit, to Expel Traficant From Ranks". The New York Times. p. A13. Retrieved December 1, 2023.
  6. ^ "Traficant guilty of bribery, racketeering". April 11, 2002. Archived from the original on April 11, 2008. Retrieved November 12, 2007.
  7. ^ Wong, Scott; Gregorian, Dareh; Santaliz, Kate; Stewart, Kyle (December 1, 2023). "House votes to expel indicted Rep. George Santos from Congress". NBC News.
  8. ^ Tran, Kevin (December 1, 2023). "Republican Rep. George Santos expelled from Congress after scathing fraud allegations". USA Today. Retrieved December 1, 2023.
  9. ^ "List of Individuals Expelled, Censured, or Reprimanded in the U.S. House of Representatives".
  10. ^ "List of Individuals Expelled, Censured, or Reprimanded in the U.S. House of Representatives | US House of Representatives: History, Art & Archives". Retrieved November 24, 2021.
  11. ^ Bowden, John (November 18, 2021). "'Absolutely disgraceful': Anger as Paul Gosar shares anime clip showing him killing AOC". Independent. Independent. Retrieved November 29, 2021.
  12. ^ Yilek, Caitlin (June 21, 2023). "House votes to censure Rep. Adam Schiff over Trump investigations". CBS News. Retrieved June 21, 2023.
  13. ^ "House censures Adam Schiff for alleging collusion between Donald Trump, Russia". USA TODAY. Retrieved June 22, 2023.
  14. ^ Grisales, Claudia (November 7, 2023). "House votes to censure Rep. Rashida Tlaib for Israel-Hamas war comments". NPR. Retrieved November 7, 2023.
  15. ^ Ferek, Katy Stech (December 7, 2023). "House Censures Rep. Jamaal Bowman for Pulling Fire Alarm Ahead of Critical Vote". The Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on December 7, 2023. Retrieved December 7, 2023.
  16. ^ David E. Rosenbaum, House Reprimands Sikes For Financial Misconduct, New York Times (July 30, 1976).
  17. ^ Richard L. Lyons, House Censures Rep. Wilson of California, Washington Post (June 11, 1980).
  18. ^ a b c Charles R. Babcock, House Votes Reprimands for Roybal, McFall and Wilson, Washington Post (October 14, 1978).
  19. ^ Adam Bernstein, 11-Term Rep. John J. McFall, Washington Post (March 15, 2006).
  21. ^ Julie Johnson, House Votes to Reprimand Lawmaker for Misconduct, New York Times (December 19, 1987).
  22. ^ Richard L. Berke, House, 408 to 18, Reprimands Rep. Frank for Ethics Violations, New York Times (July 27, 1990).
  23. ^ Painin, Eric (January 26, 1995). "REP. DORNAN REBUKED FOR FLOOR TIRADE". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 23, 2018.
  24. ^ Adam Clymer, House, in 395-28 Vote, Reprimands Gingrich, New York Times (January 22, 1997).
  25. ^ Carl Hulse (September 16, 2009). "House Rebukes Wilson for Shouting 'You Lie'". New York Times.
  26. ^ H.Res.744 – Raising a question of the privileges of the House, 111th Congress (September 15, 2009).
  27. ^ John H. Cushman Jr., Democrat Reprimanded for Misusing Staff in Race, New York Times (August 1, 2012).
  28. ^ John Breshnahan, House reprimands Richardson (August 2, 2012).
  29. ^ "Rep. Schweikert sanctioned in rare action on House floor". Roll Call. July 31, 2020. Retrieved July 31, 2020.
  30. ^ "1967 Year In Review,"