Article I, Section 2, Clause 5:
The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.
As an alternative to the impeachment process, both houses of Congress have occasionally formally announced their disproval of a particular executive branch official by adopting a resolution censuring, condemning, or expressing a lack of confidence in the official. 1 No constitutional provision expressly authorizes or prohibits such actions, and the propriety of using resolutions to condemn practices (which some describe as censure) has been the subject of some debate. 2 Nevertheless, both the House and the Senate have passed such resolutions throughout the nation's history. For instance, the Senate censured President Andrew Jackson in 1834 for refusing to turn over a document relating to his veto of an act to re-charter the United States Bank. 3 In 1860, the House adopted a resolution stating that the actions of President James Buchanan and the Secretary of the Navy Isaac Toucey, regarding the issuance of government contracts on political grounds, were deserving of reproof. 4 And the Senate in 1886 adopted a resolution condemning Attorney General A.H. Garland for refusing to provide records to the Senate concerning President Grover Cleveland's removal of a district attorney. 5 Importantly, because such resolutions are not subject to the constitutional requirements of bicameralism and presentment, they impose no formal legal penalties or consequences for any party. 6 Instead, they function primarily to express the sense of Congress on a matter and signal disagreement with the actions of the named individual. 7