WASHINGTON (CNN) – The House Ethics Committee voted unanimously Thursday to expand its investigation of Rep. Charlie Rangel, one of the most powerful members of Congress.
The committee is now looking into Rangel's alleged failure to disclose hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of assets on mandatory congressional financial disclosure forms.
The prominent Democrat, whose district includes the Harlem neighborhood of New York City, has been under investigation for a year over several issues relating to financial impropriety. He has admitted to failing to pay taxes on $75,000 in income from a rental property he owns in the Dominican Republic.
Rangel heads the influential Ways and Means Committee - the lead body for writing tax law in the House of Representatives. He has said he is the victim of a smear campaign by some in the media.
"As a practical matter, today's announcement is nothing new," said a statement issued by Emile Milne, Rangel's personal spokesman. "Today's action by the committee is a technicality, as everything they referenced in today's announcement has already been subject to ongoing review by the ethics committee and its staff.
"It is clear that the committee is being very thorough and deliberative in their process, hence today's announcement."
On Wednesday, House Democrats defeated a resolution that would have forced Rangel to step down from his chairmanship for the duration of the investigation.
The resolution lost in a mostly party-line 246-153 vote.
House Minority Leader John Boehner issued a statement Thursday urging House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to force Rangel to step down.
"The American people won't stand for having a chairman of the House's tax-writing committee who is under investigation for not paying his taxes. What more has to happen before Speaker Pelosi does the right thing?"
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer refused to say if Rangel should step down. He told CNN the Ethics Committee needs time to do what "they ought to do. I don't think we ought to draw conclusions from that because they're doing an investigation."
–CNN's Brianna Keilar and Deirdre Walsh contributed to this report
Those barking about Ensign, the guy did do wrong. However, Rangel is a tax cheat. I am mad as can be, I have to pay my taxes and couldn't even imagine trying to find loopholes or whatever else this guy is doing. I owed federal taxes and guess what they took every penny that was owed and I was fine with that. I knew I was going to owe because I had changed my deductions as I was living paycheck to paycheck just trying to cover the bills. I was not trying to evade being taxed. I just knew that at the end of the year I would owe. This jack like a lot of the others are not living paycheck to paycheck and if anything have huge profits, but they don't want to pay their fair share. How can anyone in their right mind democrat, liberal, conservative, republican, independent, green, etc make any excuses.
Rangel, Acorn and Obama...three peas in a pod!!!
This is precious. The head of the Ways and Means Committe with tax evasion problems. If Rangle was a Republican, David Letterman would be all over this one.
no matter how you spell it, he's dirty.
Oh My! I just cant believe it..A congressman a tax cheat.
Even though I have lived in NYC and am Democratic so I voted for Charlie Rangel three times. So many Democratic including my all family in NYC are not going to vocte for him who cheated on tax and has not reported property and taxes for several years.
He should step down or resign by himself.
IT'S TIME FOR The House Ethics Committee SHOW "FAIR AND BALANCED INVESTIGATION".
The Obama administration should remember that there will be hell to pay in a few years if they are doing anything illegal while in the White House.......just a thought.........
Funny the one's who think that the rich should pay more in taxes are the ones that are always caught hiding their money and not paying the higher taxes. Such as Rep. Ranlge, Former Senator Dashel, and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. Even the H&HS Secretary Sebelius had a little tax trouble but she quickly paid the tax and admitted it was a records keeping record.
Wow, this is just like a republican free-for- all. Where were all you mouthy republicans when Bush lied to us about WMDs? Huh?
washington investigating one of its own. just like ACORN choosing who gets to conduct an internal audit of its books. if rangle were anyone else he'd be sitting in jail at this point and had had his assest seized. i'm not holding my breath that rangle will get anything more than a slap on the wrist and 'reprimanded'. the only real way to fix this is to vote rangle out of office.
He's a lying, thieving, dirtbag. He should be sent to prison. The fact that the Democratic Party and the President have not aleady done something about him proves that they are all lying, thieving dirtbags that deserve a prison sentence.
HAHA and Democrats just voted to DEFEND THIS GUY!
Democrats a bunch of buffoons.
Egg on their face after that vote this week. MORE ETHICS CHARGES HAHAHAHAH
Guess what? Those ethics charges are NOT coming from Republicans either.
Glad you Dems support corruption!
Disgusting–vote him out. Another do as I say not as I do politician. We really need to get these "professional lifers" out of congress and get in new people and ideas. Come on 2010.
honesty I think they should stop the investigation because itt getting no where. I really blame house republicans for all this politcal motivated investigation
Rangel has openly admitted that he did not claim income or assets. Does the stupid committee not believe him so they must further investigate after messing around with this for a year? Any Sen. or Rep., regardless of party, needs to be booted out for criminal activity. These kings and queens think they are above the laws that they re suppose to create. Citizens arrest!!!! Rangel admits he is a criminal, and his peers just let him continue on like nothing is wrong? Wake up America! Stop playing politics! Throw any of them out that are breaking the law!!!!!!!
This guy is a crook!!! I do not understand why Democrats are protecting him. Why? It's only hurting Dems not Republicans.
Just another dumbocrat crook,nothing new there. Hey Botox Pelosi where's that transparency in government you promised the American people when all you dumbocrats took over, sounds like another liberal lie to me,but then I'm not really surprised about that either.
Lemmee guess - will he blame Bush or just go right to the race card? When will Democrats grow up and become accountable. Republicans aren't much better, but they seem to do a better job policing themselves. I say vote them all out and start over. It will never come to that, of course, because Americans WANT to be governed by crooks. How else can you explain this guy and the rest like him on both sides of the aisle?