[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/12/16/art.sanford.0826-1.jpg caption="South Carolina panel votes against impeaching Sanford."]
(CNN) - South Carolina lawmakers voted down a resolution Wednesday to impeach Mark Sanford, voting instead to formally rebuke the embattled governor for taking a secret trip to Argentina to see his mistress, and for the misuse of state airplanes.
The House Judiciary Committee unanimously passed a resolution to rebuke Sanford, saying the governor actions brought "ridicule, disgrace and shame" to South Carolina.
The panel agreed with a move last week by a special House subcommittee that called Sanford's behavior "reprehensible," "arrogant" and "indefensible" - but concluded that the Republican governor's actions did not rise to the constitutional level of impeachment.
The rebuke passed Wednesday by the House Judiciary Committee moves to the full House and Senate, where no action is expected until next year.
"I'd like to thank the Committee for its work and deliberative approach today and throughout the process," Sanford said in a statement following the vote," adding he obviously agrees "with the Committee's reasonable decision to reject impeachment."
Sanford has been under intense scrutiny since June, when he left the country for five days to visit his Argentine mistress without informing his staff or the lieutenant governor of his whereabouts.
The two-term governor, who was once considered a rising star in the GOP, is prevented by law from running for re-election next year. Sanford has just over a year left in his final term in office. His wife Jenny filed for divorce last week, citing adultery.
–CNN's Peter Hamby and Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report