The U.S. House of Representatives voted Wednesday in favor of a resolution to censure Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif.
Rep. Anna Paulina Luna, R-Fla., initially filed a privileged resolution on May 23 “to censure, condemn, and fine” the California Democrat $16 million “for his egregious abuse of the trust of the American people.”
The 20 Republicans who previously voted with Democrats included Reps. Young Kim of California, Juan Ciscomani of Arizona, Michael Turner of Ohio, and Thomas Massie of Kentucky.
The new resolution was adopted in a 213-209 vote on Wednesday. Six Republican lawmakers voted “present.”
Republican Reps. Ken Buck of Colorado, Michelle Fischbach of Minnesota, Andrew Garbarino of New York, Michael Guest of Mississippi, David Joyce of Ohio, and John Rutherford of Florida voted “present.”
Earlier in the day, the Democrats’ motion to table the modified resolution failed on a 208-218 vote. Eight lawmakers—four Republicans and four Democrats—did not vote.
The $16 million fine was removed “to address the concerns of those that voted no,” Edie Heipel, spokeswoman for Luna, told Axios.
“To be clear, this is not retribution. The GOP recently voted to refer one of our own to [the House Ethics Committee] for investigation. The fact is, as you saw today with Hunter Biden and the [Justice Department], there is a double standard of justice in this country,” Luna said in a Tuesday statement.
“It is well within my right as a congresswoman to file a privileged motion and hold Adam Schiff accountable for abusing and exploiting his official position and bringing dishonor to the House of Representatives. I am fully aware of the constitutionality of it all, and that is what this is about,” the Florida congresswoman said.
Luna added, “It is important to remember that in Congress, although we hold the House, we do not have the Senate or the White House. We have a select number of tools, like these privileged motions and the Holman rule, that we can utilize as individual members that will not go to die in the Senate.”
Schiff spoke on the House floor following the Democrats’ failed attempt to table the resolution.
“To my Republican colleagues who introduced this resolution, I thank you. You honor me with your emnity. You flatter me with this falsehood,” Schiff said. “You who are the authors of a big lie about the last election must condemn the truth tellers and I stand proudly before you. Your words tell me that I have been effective in the defense of our democracy and I am grateful.”
“And yet this false and defamatory resolution comes at a considerable cost to the country and to the Congress. At a moment when millions of people in our home state of California are unable to find a place to live or afford a place to live, Speaker [Kevin] McCarthy chooses to occupy the resources of Congress for two straight weeks on this hollow sop to the MAGA crowd,” Schiff said. “He offers nothing to those who are homeless or addicted to opioids or to millions of college students mired in debt, but this paltry distraction.”
Ryan Walker, vice president of government relations of Heritage Action for America, the grassroots arm of The Heritage Foundation, weighed in on the vote. (The Daily Signal is the news outlet of The Heritage Foundation.)
“The Durham report makes clear there was a coordinated effort to impugn and bring down a leading candidate for office of the opposite political party,” Walker told The Daily Signal in an emailed statement. “This should make us all lose sleep, as it undermines the basic fabric of our republic.”
“Rep. Schiff used the claims that flowed from that coordinated effort to spin a narrative of a sitting president ‘colluding’ with Russia, even as he knew the factual basis of the claims to be false. The House is well within its bounds to censure a colleague knowing those basic facts,” he said.
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