Expulsion from Congress is the most severe punishment to befall a member of the House. In the chamber's 213-year history, only five representatives have been expelled:

-- Rep. John B. Clark, D-Mo., in 1861, for taking up arms against the government of the United States. Clark served as a brigadier general for the Confederacy and later as a representative to the Confederate Congress during the Civil War. His son, John B. Clark Jr., later served two terms in Congress.

-- Rep. John W. Reid, D-Mo., in 1861, for taking up arms against the government of the United States. Reid was a volunteer aide to Confederate General Sterling Price during the Civil War. He later resumed a law practice and banking career.

-- Rep. Henry C. Burnett, D-Ky., in 1861, for supporting secession by the Confederate States of America. He served as a colonel for the Confederacy and later as a representative to the Confederate Congress.

-- Rep. Michael "Ozzie" Myers, D-Pa., in 1980, for accepting money from undercover FBI agents posing as Arab sheiks seeking favors from Congress in the Abscam scandal. He was convicted on bribery and conspiracy charges and served 20 1/2 months in federal prison before being released in 1985. Now 59, Myers works as a building contractor.

-- Rep. James A. Traficant Jr., D-Ohio, in 2002, for taking kickbacks from employees, encouraging the destruction of evidence, soliciting bribes and other gifts from businessmen and filing false income tax returns. A federal jury in Cleveland convicted Traficant of all of those offenses in April.