Charles Rangel censure vote: Five others the House has slapped down

The House is poised to vote whether to censure Rep. Charles Rangel of New York. It’s a punishment seldom used, but here are the five most recent cases.

Rep. Thomas Blanton, 1921

The House censured Rep. Thomas Blanton (D) of Texas, 293-0, on Oct. 27, 1921, because members didn’t much care for a paper – which recounted a conversation between a union printer and a nonunion printer, in all its colorful language – that he placed into the Congressional Record. Blanton’s colleagues found the printers’ language to be “unspeakable, vile, foul, filthy, profane, blasphemous and obscene,” and deemed that Blanton had abused the privilege granted to lawmakers of submitting items for the Congressional Record.


Blanton’s defenders said he was merely trying to show the state of labor relations. The House voted to remove the letter from the Record. A vote to expel Blanton failed to receive the necessary two-thirds vote, and censure had to suffice. An “ashen” Blanton is reported to have fainted at the end of the ordeal.

Leigh Montgomery contributed to this report

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