Chaos Erupts in the House as Democrats Contest Censure of Rep. Adam Schiff
On June 21, chaos erupted on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives as Democrats fiercely contested the House Republicans’ vote to censure Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.).
The House voted to censure Schiff after an initial resolution brought forward by Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-Fla.) was tabled. However, a revised version of the resolution gained support from Republicans who initially voted against it. The final tally was 213-209, with six members voting “present.”
Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), who backed the measure, presided over the hearing.
A Rare Punitive Action
A censure resolution is a punitive action taken by the House to discipline members for misconduct that falls short of grounds for expulsion. Schiff is only the 25th member in American history to face such an action out of over 10,505 who have served in the lower chamber.
The resolution condemns Schiff, the former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, for perpetuating the debunked notion of collusion between President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia. This notion was discredited by special counsel Robert Mueller in 2019, Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz later that year, and special counsel John Durham in May. The initial proposal by Luna included a $16 million fine, which was half of the $32 million cost of the Mueller probe to taxpayers.
After the censure vote, Schiff was asked to come to the House Well to have the charges against him read aloud. Prior to the end of voting, Democrats gathered around Schiff in a show of solidarity.
As McCarthy began to read out the final vote tallies, Democrats on the House floor began to interrupt, chanting, “Shame, shame, shame.” McCarthy tried to restore order, but the Democrats continued their chants.
Among the Democrats joining in the chant was Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the former speaker of the House. Another Democrat in the crowd cried out, “Disgrace, disgrace.”
Despite McCarthy’s attempts to call for a return to order, Democrats continued to speak and shout comments toward the speaker’s dais. One Democrat mentioned “Santos,” referring to Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.), who has faced controversy for lying about his personal background during his campaign.
Amidst the chaos, another Democrat shouted, “Shame on you,” while another referenced the late Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) by saying, “John Lewis would not like this.”
As the tumult began to calm, McCarthy asked if Schiff would present himself in the Well. Republicans clapped, and then Democrats applauded as Schiff made his way to the front.
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