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House blocks Republican effort to censure Rep. Adam Schiff

Rep. Anna Paulina Luna, R-Fla., introduced the resolution to censure and fine Schiff over his role in the House investigation into Russia and the 2016 Trump campaign.
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., outside the Supreme Court May 16, 2023.
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., outside the Supreme Court on May 16.Francis Chung / POLITICO via AP Images file

The House on Wednesday rejected a GOP-backed effort to censure Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., with almost two dozen Republican lawmakers bucking their party's attempt to publicly rebuke him.

The House voted 225-196 to set aside the resolution, introduced by Rep. Anna Paulina Luna, R-Fla., to censure Schiff over his role in the House investigation into Russia and the 2016 Trump campaign.

Twenty Republicans joined Democrats in tabling Luna's measure, effectively blocking a vote on the censure resolution itself. Two Republicans and five Democrats voted present.

"Today’s partisan and failed attempt to censure me is a badge of honor that I will wear proudly," Schiff tweeted after the vote. "MAGA Republicans are going after me because I dared to hold Donald Trump accountable."

The resolution was privileged, meaning the Republican-controlled House was compelled to bring it up by Thursday. A censure resolution requires a simple majority to pass. Had it been successful, Schiff would have been ordered to stand on the House floor to receive a verbal rebuke.

Schiff, who is running for a Senate seat, called the resolution “political payback" Tuesday.

"They also hope to intimidate and silence not just me, but others,” he told NBC News at the time.

House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., tweeted his support for the censure resolution Tuesday as former President Donald Trump was arraigned at a federal courthouse in Miami.

Luna tweeted Wednesday that she planned to file another privileged motion, one that she said would censure Schiff and refer him for an ethics investigation but with no mention of a fine.

In a statement announcing the initial resolution, Luna had said she picked the $16 million figure because it was half the cost of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation. That probe did not establish any coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia, though it did document contacts between Russians and campaign officials and found that the campaign was willing to accept help.

Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., who pleaded not guilty to a 13-count federal indictment last month and faces an ethics investigation in the House, chastised Schiff before Wednesday's vote but ultimately voted present when the motion came to the floor.

In a video on Twitter, Santos called Schiff’s pursuit of the Russia investigation into Trump “abhorrent” and “unacceptable for a member of Congress” while urging lawmakers to “preserve the integrity” of the House by voting for censure.

In January, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., blocked Schiff and another California Democrat, Rep. Eric Swalwell, from serving on the Intelligence Committee.