The move to impeach Mr Blagojevich follows an investigation by a 21-member committee of the Illinois House, which looked at testimony from FBI agents who wiretapped phone calls to and from the governor's office about who should fill President-elect Obama's Senate seat.
It is alleged the conversations show that Mr Blagojevich, a second-term Democrat, was trying to use the seat to get himself or his wife a job.
The panel said the evidence showed Mr Blagojevich was not fit to be governor, and voted unanimously to proceed to an impeachment vote.
Responding to the vote, Mr Blagojevich told reporters: "The House's actions today are because I've done things to fight for families."
He went on to defend his record as a governor, citing his attempts to provide healthcare to poor women, and his scheme to assist families faced with foreclosure.
And in an echo of a news conference he gave last year in which he quoted the poet Rudyard Kipling, Mr Blagojevich again decided to end his appearance with a reference to a 19th C0entury British poet.
This time, Mr Blagojevich quoted from Alfred, Lord Tennyson's poem "Ulysses", saying: "Tho' we are not now that strength which in the old days moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are."
Pat Quinn, the lieutenant governor of Illinois - who would have stepped into Mr Blagojevich's role if he stepped down - said he regretted the governor's decision to fight the impeachment.
"Governor Blagojevich has lost the confidence of the people of Illinois," he said.
"He's lost the consent of the governed, and under those circumstances, I think the proper course - as I've said before and many others have said - is to step aside and to resign, and I wish he had resigned today."
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