Chaos erupted on the U.S. House of Representatives floor earlier this week as Democrats contested House Republicans’ vote to censure Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.).
$16 Million fine imposed
The resolution, brought forward by Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-Fla.), garnered support after a clause fining Schiff $16 million – half of the cost of investigating debunked claims of Russian collusion with President Donald Trump in 2016 – was dropped.
The censure of Schiff marks a rare disciplinary action, as only the 25th member in American history to face such measures out of over 10,505 who have served in the lower chamber.
A censure resolution is the House’s punitive action to address activities that fall short of expulsion.
The House voted to censure Schiff a week after an initial resolution brought forward by Rep. Anna Paulina Luna (R-Fla.) was tabled.
Trump-Russia collusion debunked numerous times
The resolution condemns Schiff, who chaired the House Intelligence Committee, for perpetuating the notion of collusion between Trump’s 2016 campaign and Russia, despite being debunked by special counsel Robert Mueller in 2019, Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz later that year, and special counsel John Durham in May.
Following the House’s decision to convict Schiff, the California representative was asked to come to the House Well to have the charges against him read aloud. As the vote tallies were being announced by Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Democrats gathered around Schiff in a show of solidarity. The final count resulted in a vote of 213-209, with six members voting “present.”
After the House voted to censure Schiff, Schiff was asked to come to the House Well to have the charges against him read aloud. ‘Present,’ six voted.
Democrats get rowdy and begin chanting ‘Shame, shame, shame’
As McCarthy read the final vote tallies, Democrats on the House floor interrupted, chanting, ‘Shame, shame, shame.’ ‘The House—’ McCarthy began to call for a return to order as Democrats continued to speak and shout comments toward the speaker’s dais.
Amidst the disruptions, references were made to other members, including Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.), who has faced controversies but has not been convicted or expelled.
A Democrat in the crowd could be heard mentioning ‘Santos,’ a reference to Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.), a first-term congressman disgraced by a series of lies he made about his background while on the campaign trail. McCarthy and others have evaded seeking a censure or expulsion of Santos.
‘Shame on you’, ‘You Support Santos’.
“Shame on you,” another Democrat shouted. “John Lewis would not like this,” said another Democrat, referencing the late Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.). “You support Santos!” shouted another Democrat.
Amidst the commotion, McCarthy persisted and read the censure resolution, outlining the reasons for Schiff’s censure and calling for a public reading of the resolution and an ethics investigation.
Schiff censured for ‘misleading the American public’
McCarthy continued to read the resolution, ignoring Democrat interruptions:”… the House of Representatives censures Adam Schiff, representative of the 30th congressional district of California, for misleading the American public, and for conduct unbecoming of an elected member of the House of Representatives, that Adam Schiff will forthwith present himself in the Well of the House for the pronouncement of censure, that Adam Schiff will be censured with a public reading of this resolution by the speaker, and that the Committee on Ethics shall conduct an investigation on Adam Schiff’s falsehoods, misrepresentations, and abuse of sensitive information.”
In conclusion, the censure of Adam Schiff and the ensuing protest on the House floor highlight the deep divisions and political tensions within the chamber.
Such moments serve as a reminder of the ongoing ideological clashes and the importance of maintaining decorum and respectful dialogue in the pursuit of effective