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Rangel: I'm staying as Ways and Means chairman

Updated 8:16 p.m.
By Perry Bacon Jr. and Paul Kane
Rep. Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.) sounded defiant Tuesday night in the face of renewed calls for him to give up his chairmanship of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee.

Rangel emerged from a meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) to tell reporters that he's staying as chairman. "You bet your life," he said.

Rep. Artur Davis (D-Ala.) on Tuesday became both the first member of Ways and Means and the first black lawmaker to join a growing group of Democrats calling for Rangel to step down. Fellow Democrats have rebelled against leaving Rangel in charge of the influential panel after the House ethics committee admonished Rangel last week for accepting corporate-financed travel.

More than a half-dozen Democrats have called for Rangel to at least temporarily leave his chairmanship following a House ethics committee finding last week that he violated House rules by attending conferences in the Caribbean in 2007 and 2008 that were funded in part by corporations.

Republicans are preparing a resolution this week that would call for Congress to remove Rangel from the post, and congressional Democratic aides have acknowledged diminishing support for the 79-year-old lawmaker.

"Representative Rangel has had a long and distinguished career and I respect his leadership, but I believe Congress needs to do more to restore the public trust," Davis said in a statement that was first reported by The Hill newspaper. "An ethics committee admonishment is a serious event and Representative Rangel should do the right thing and step aside as chairman of the Ways and Means Committee."

The rebuke from Davis was not entirely surprising, as the 42-year-old is a candidate for governor this year in Alabama and part of a younger generation of black lawmakers that is not as close to Rangel. But his move ends the unanimous support Rangel had from the Congressional Black Caucus, which is known for being very protective of the caucus members who hold key leadership positions in Congress.

The Davis announcement follows the decision by several lawmakers, such as Rep. Walt Minnick (D-Idaho, to return money Rangel has donated, and others, including Rep. Paul Hodes (D-N.H.), to abandon previous support for Rangel and call for him to step down.

The House has not yet scheduled a vote on a resolution by Rep. John Carter (R-Tex.) to force Rangel to step down; Republican aides said it was likely to come this week. Only two Democrats backed a GOP effort to remove Rangel last year, but congressional Democratic aides say the number will be much higher if such a vote comes up now.

If all 178 Republicans in the House backed the resolution, 39 Democrats would also have to back it for Rangel to be removed.

Rangel, whose office did not immediately respond to a request for comment, also faces accusations that he failed to disclose thousands in assets, improperly used congressional stationery to solicit donations for an academic center bearing his name at a New York college, and used multiple, rent-controlled apartments in Harlem in violation of city law.

No member of the Democratic leadership in the House has yet called for Rangel to step down, but they have not been defended him strongly either, saying they want to wait until the end of ethics process before making a decision on the chairman.
Staff Writer Ben Pershing contributed to this report.

By Perry Bacon Jr.  |  March 2, 2010; 6:43 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency , Capitol Briefing , Ethics  
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Rangel is the poster child for what's wrong with Congress.

Vote EVERY incumbent out in your next upcoming election.

Posted by: b1978367 | March 2, 2010 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Anybody every forced to resign over the Iraq War? 'Nuff said.

Posted by: rodneythecat | March 2, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Rules only pertain to peons and Republicans!

Rangel the elite can pay no taxes and work without rules!!

The new Democrat principle basis!!

Posted by: jjcrocket2 | March 2, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

There's defiance in the face of groupthink, and there's defiance in the face of overwhelming evidence of your own crimes.

Get out of Congress, Rangel. I don't care if you're black, you're still a criminal just like Pelosi and Emanuel and Bennet.



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Posted by: qitkonlyyou | March 2, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

No matter how slimy some politician is (and Rangel is super-slime) there's always someone posting "he's no worse than all the rest, get off your high horse..."
Rangel is worse, a lot worse than most and he needs to be thrown out fast, and whoever doesn't call for him to leave needs to go, too.

Posted by: kls1 | March 2, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

yay Rangel!

following the Mark Sanford path of unrepentant corruption

just another sign that this ain't your country anymore

Posted by: lichtme | March 2, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

If Pelosi had any skill in her position, she would force Rangel out. Make him retire. What is going to happen? Is Harlem going to go red? I doubt it.

You get rid of the black eye, get a solid Dem replacement, and Mr. Rangel and his Carribean trips, multiple rent controlled "residences" in NY, and sketchy fund raising for his library go away.

The people making this a partisan thing are idiots. Both sides of the aisle are just as slimey as Rangel. They just haven't been caught yet. The CREW list of most corrupt politicians is very bi-partisan and includes Mr. Rangel as well as Mitch McConnell.

Posted by: BurtReynolds | March 2, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Oh, please. So many people posting here acting as if Republicans are angels sent from heaven. Charlie Rangel is no worse than any other politician both Democratic or Republican. Some of you people need to step down from your moral high horse.

Posted by: catmomtx | March 2, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Rangel should step down, resign his seat, and go straight to the one place he belongs: jail.

Posted by: Bob22003 | March 2, 2010 9:15 PM | Report abuse

Corporate-sponsored trips to the Caribbean...

Rep. Charles B. Rangel, it's time to do the honorable thing and step down as Ways and Means chairman. It's obvious that your interests are no longer in the best interest of the American people. You live a lavishing lifestyle at the expense of the American taxpayer. You earn your income from the American taxpayer and then turn and vote with your special interest friends. I have scanned the articles concerning the trips and it seems that there has been a failure to mention who paid for these trips. I think the least you could do is disclose who you pander to. Thank you.

Posted by: spookykat1 | March 2, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Your schoolyard finger pointing adds nothing.


Hey Righties - before you get too high on your Morality high horse, remember there are 2 "family values" Republicans in the Senate who've confessed to adulterous affairs.

Posted by: angie12106 | March 2, 2010 8:52 PM

Posted by: Tupac_Goldstein | March 2, 2010 8:58 PM | Report abuse


wonder if the ways and means committee could actually meet in jail

to save

transport costs

Posted by: ProCounsel | March 2, 2010 8:57 PM | Report abuse


rangel has to either go to jail

or be chair of the ways and means committee

under the pelosi regime

Posted by: ProCounsel | March 2, 2010 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Hey Righties - before you get too high on your Morality high horse, remember there are 2 "family values" Republicans in the Senate who've confessed to adulterous affairs.

Posted by: angie12106 | March 2, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Hey Righties - before you get too high on your Morality high horse, remember there are 2 "family values" Republicans in the Senate who've confessed to adulterous affairs.

Posted by: angie12106 | March 2, 2010 8:52 PM | Report abuse

Charlie reminds me of a vastly overweight, yet still oily Snidley Whiplash, twirling his mustache as he plots his next evil deed. . . .throwing Lady Ethics onto the railroad tracks while the cranky Nancy cackles in the background.

Posted by: Tupac_Goldstein | March 2, 2010 8:50 PM | Report abuse

WooHoo! another Corporate Democrat going down - Arkansas Sen. Lincoln has a primary challenger! Lt. Gov. Bill Halter has raised over $1M in less than 2 days!

Oh - and Rangel needs to GO! After all his years in Congress, and he can't hire staff knowledgeable of Ethics rules?! ha!

Posted by: angie12106 | March 2, 2010 8:47 PM | Report abuse

The Dems just keep making it easier for the Reps....

Posted by: CarolinaMike | March 2, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

obama and the dems

have been fully inoculated

against morality and ethics

no chance of infection

Posted by: ProCounsel | March 2, 2010 8:40 PM | Report abuse

Charlie is an honest, well intentioned, Democrat, typical of all Democrats. So he forgot that he lives in NY and takes DC homestead deduction, or what’s a vacation paid for by lobbyists? How about that $39,350 loan came from a New York City program to develop low-income housing. Charlie he didn’t see anything wrong with living in a Harlem apartment renovated with money reserved for poor people.

That is why Barack Hussein Obama and Mrs. Pelosi want him to keep his gavel. Integrity, Barack Hussein Obama and the Democrat Congress.

Posted by: Drudge1 | March 2, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Good. He has a long and distinguished career, and served the Nation honorably in the military, unlike some. He should stay.

Posted by: billycdc | March 2, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Rangel is a disgrace and shows Pelosi as a corrupt politician.

Posted by: JohnRice | March 2, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

When Rangel comes out with a comment such as "You bet your life" as to his remaining chairman, you can believe that if you want, but my money says that it is the beginning of the end.

What was this thing about ethics, transparency, change you can believe in, etc., etc., etc.? Now is the time for the Democratic leadership to show the American people that they can deliver on what they promised. Otherwise, Madame Speaker, you may as well call the movers in now and start the packing process.


Posted by: adjjones | March 2, 2010 8:34 PM | Report abuse

typical dem criminality

obama and dems--destroying americas moral infrastructure

obama and dems--sleeze slime and crime

all obama

all the time

Posted by: ProCounsel | March 2, 2010 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Rangel is an embarrassment to the Democrats. He is the guy in charge of a lot of money and has been exposed to be a tax cheat, a rent control cheat, and even a parking cheat (leaving a broken down car covered by a tarp in the Congressional parking garage, against member rules).

Posted by: Georgetowner1 | March 2, 2010 8:29 PM | Report abuse > Metro > The District
Your Comments On...
A closely watched parallel...

D.C. Council censures Marion Barry
In a stinging rebuke, the D.C. Council on Tuesday censured Marion Barry, stripped him of his committee chairmanship and referred allegations of public corruption to the U.S. attorney's office for possible criminal prosecution -- unprecedented sanctions against the iconic former mayor.
Like that fellow (Rangel) from NY,
Mr. Barry only takes offense
(Doesn't do the right thing and resign)
At being indicted for enriching himself at the public's expense.

Posted by: Gonzage1 | March 2, 2010 7:38 PM | Report abuse

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