January 17th, 2024
By Daniel Chaitin
The third-ranking House Republican, Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), condemned on Wednesday an endeavor to censure her by Rep. Dan Goldman (D-NY) in connection to the U.S. Capitol breach on January 6, 2021, and beyond.
“Desperate corrupt Far Left House Democrats are attempting to force a vote to censure me for my unwavering support for the Constitution, the rule of law, and election integrity,” Stefanik said in a post to X.
Stefanik, the House Republican conference chairwoman, included a link to a fundraising page that claimed she was being retaliated against for her effectiveness in “exposing” the lies and corruption of President Joe Biden and the Democrats as well as her “unwavering support” of former President Donald Trump.
Goldman, who served as lead counsel in the first Trump impeachment, has emerged as the Democrats’ most vocal defender of Biden and critic of GOP-led inquiries. His office argued in a statement announcing the censure resolution on Wednesday that Stefanik has engaged in “conduct unbecoming” of a member of Congress and Goldman took particular issue with her recently “echoing” Trump’s rhetoric when she referred to January 6 inmates as “hostages.”
The resolution also lists a number of other grievances against Stefanik, including raising concerns about the 2020 election results and her criticisms of special counsel Jack Smith’s January 6 case against Trump, and calls for her to present herself to the well of House for the pronouncement of the censure.
Throughout history, 27 members have been successfully censured, which is a formal rebuke and a less severe form of punishment than expulsion, though there has been an uptick of late. House members who were censured last year included Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), and Jamaal Bowman (D-NY).
Still, the resolution against Stefanik faces long odds considering the GOP has a narrow hold on the House while more than 110 House Republicans — roughly half of their total number — back Trump in his latest White House campaign.
Among those to defend Stefanik was House Speaker Mike Johnson (R-LA).
“I just heard about Goldman’s censure resolution against Elise Stefanik. I think it’s patently absurd. She’s one of the best leaders and best communicators in Congress. She is doing an exceptional job and the idea that he would use censure to attack a political opponent is just ridiculous,” Johnson said, per Punchbowl News.