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Sen. Joseph McCarthy

Former Senator for Wisconsin

McCarthy was a senator from Wisconsin and was a Republican. He served from 1947 to 1957.

Misconduct/alleged misconduct

McCarthy abused a Senate committee. On Dec. 2, 1954, the Senate censured him, 67-22.

Nov. 8, 1954 Select Committee to Study Censure Charges unanimously recommended censure
Dec. 2, 1954 Senate censured, 67-22
May. 2, 1957 Died before his term would have ended in 1958.

McCarthy faced an allegation of corruption. On Jan. 2, 1953, the Senate Subcommittee on Privileges and Elections issued a report with no specific recommendations for Senate action and thus the Senate took no action even though the Subcommittee did find evidence of improper behavior by McCarthy. In 1953, the Department of Justice announced it had found no evidence of wrongdoing and closed the case.

Aug. 6, 1951 Senator Benton introduced a resolution calling for an inquiry into McCarthy. Senate referred the resolution to the Committee on Rules and Administration which passed it to the Subcommittee on Privileges and Elections.
Jan. 2, 1953 Senate Subcommittee on Privileges and Elections issued a report with no specific recommendations for Senate action and thus the Senate took no action even though the Subcommittee did find evidence of improper behavior by McCarthy
1953 Having received the Subcommittee's report and files, the Department of Justice announced it had found no evidence of wrongdoing and closed the case.
Photo of Sen. Joseph McCarthy [R-WI, 1947-1957]

Voting Record

Missed Votes

From Jan 1947 to Apr 1957, McCarthy missed 178 of 1,521 roll call votes, which is 11.7%. This is much worse than the median of 6.6% among the lifetime records of senators serving in Apr 1957. The chart below reports missed votes over time.

Show the numbers...

Primary Sources

The information on this page is originally sourced from a variety of materials, including: