October 7th, 2009
08:34 PM ET
13 years ago

GOP, citing ethics, calls for key House chairman to step down

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/10/07/art.rangel.gi.jpg caption="Congressional Republicans intensified their calls Wednesday for Chairman Charlie Rangel of New York to resign his post."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Congressional Republicans intensified their calls Wednesday for powerful House Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel of New York to resign his post heading the committee, at least temporarily.

Rep. John Carter, R-Texas, introduced a motion that would have forced Rangel to step down during an ongoing ethics investigation into his finances and activities.

House Democrats responded by voting to shut off debate and instead send the resolution to the House Ethics Committee, where the matter has sat for a year. The move to effectively kill the resolution by sending it to the committee passed on a mostly party-line 246-153 vote.

The vote has no significant effect but shows Republicans are turning up the heat on Rangel and hoping to score political points by highlighting the ethics probe.

The prominent Harlem, New York, Democrat has been under investigation for a year over several issues, including hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of assets which allegedly he did not claim on financial disclosure forms. Rangel has admitted to failing to pay taxes on $75,000 in income from a rental property he owns in the Dominican Republic.

The Ways and Means committee is the lead body for writing tax law in the House.

Rangel has said he is the victim of a smear campaign by some in the media.

"The allegations were made by newspaper reporters, and I asked the Ethics Committee to review it and report back to Congress," he told CNN Wednesday. "If I was to step aside, it would mean that newspaper reporters could dictate and create clouds when really we should have a committee that has investigative forces that can search for the truth and report it."

Rangel also said that chairmen usually retain their posts when under an ethics investigation. When asked if the probe affects his abilities to lead the committee, he responded, "Not at all."

Rangel is one of three chairman crafting health care legislation. Some Democrats have said Republican moves against him are an attempt to derail that debate.

–CNN's Dana Bash and Deirdre Walsh contributed to this report.

Updated: 8:34 p.m.

Filed under: Charlie Rangel • House
soundoff (93 Responses)
  1. kaleto

    It's amazing how many democrats who cheat on their taxes are directly involved in collecting those same taxes from the rest of us.

    October 7, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  2. ATL Guy

    Mike Ensign – that's where the embarassment will be. Republicans better push him out before 2010 comes along.

    October 7, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  3. James

    Oh-boy, another Repub distraction...
    – They have no ideas on healthcare so they deflect.
    – They have no new ideas to improve the economy, so they dance.
    – They only use morals when it suits their motives, it's disgusting.
    – It's time to govern, time to earn your money.

    October 7, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  4. Ashamed

    It is truly shameful that the clowns in the House can overwhelmingly (by party line vote) put this under the table, but stop at nothing to say "the Republicans are obstructing health-care."

    What's more shameful are the lemmings that repeat that mantra on here after buying it hook line and sinker from the Dem propaganda machine instead of using their brains and realizing that the Dems have huge majorities in both houses and a president that will sign anything that crosses his desk. Yet, they still can't get it done.

    Keystone Cops anyone?

    October 7, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  5. Who R U???

    I can't believe that the republicans on here have the nerve to tell Rangel to step down when you applaud one of your own for calling the President of the United States a liar!! Well, you gave your opinion and now here is mine, go back to the whole you came from. I can say this because I am a formal republican who can't stand the what the brand stands for now. It is totally disgusting!

    October 7, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  6. KC

    Interesting that people actually justify Rangels actions by bringing up the wrong that the GOP has committed. Wrong is wrong people. These politicians....all of them, should be held accountable. To do anything other than that is stupid on our part and criminal on the part of the House.

    October 7, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  7. too bad the republiklans lack ideas

    Has G"NO"P Senator Ensign and Gov. Mark Sanford resigned yet? Repubklians talking of ethics violation....yeah, right...pot meet kettle!!

    October 7, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  8. Mike Dallas

    Charlie, use the republican excuse when they are in trouble.

    Keep repeating, "God spoke to me and said use the money for the good works of the Lord".

    Repeat, until you think the citizens actually believe it!

    October 7, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  9. Mike in LR

    Hypocrisy at it's highest. Censure a guy from the other party for the spoken word but stand behind an unethical democrat. What shame. Unfortunately if it were reversed republicans would likely do the same. They all need to go and term limits need to be invoked.

    October 7, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  10. Randolph Carter, the real enemy of humanity

    Term limits, baby, term limits. Have a nice day!

    October 7, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  11. Paul in NH

    When Ensign, Vitter and the rest of the GOP hypocrites step down pending investigations into their own sordid affairs (pun intended) then Rangel should follow suit. There's enough smearing going around for everybody.

    It shouldn't matter what side of the aisle they're on – let's be consistent. The problem is things are so polarized that they spend more time throwing stones and worrying about positioning themselves for the next election than addressing the critical problems facing this country.

    October 7, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  12. Lynda

    Hey republicans get your own removed from office , get rid of your own losers before tying to get Democrats run out of office.....do we have to name them for you (Ensign and Sanford)..........

    October 7, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  13. John

    Yes please people stop voting these crooks into office. Stop looking at the (R) or (D) next to their names and blindly voting. And for pete sake, stop pretending the party you love (either side) is immune from problems and it's only ever the other side. There are good people on both sides but there are plenty of bad ones too. Get these people out of office. If they won't put in term limits on themselves then we need to enforce it.

    October 7, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  14. Lee Lopez

    That's why we need term limits. Two terms and you can't run
    again. Another thing, Congress wants to control the pay grade
    of CEO's, but Congress just gave themselves a 6% increased.
    We need to vote on their pay raises.

    October 7, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  15. gt

    rangel .... dodd.... two of the biggest crooks in washington... ok america turn your heads,,,,dont hold them accountable....ugh....

    October 7, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  16. Pragmatic

    ... let's see – a year ago was October ... the GOP was still nominally in charge and really in charge before that ... and did nothing ... as usual .... guess they were too busy with Mark Foley ...

    October 7, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  17. No More Republicant's Needed

    Hey Republicants . . . how 'bout you all clean up your OWN backyard before you start pointing fingers at the Democrats! Ensign, Vitter, Colburn et al . . . . we'd take your outrage at congressional corruption muchmore seriously if it wasn't so obvious that it's ALL anti-Obama rhetoric with you guys!

    October 7, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |

    It is the right call REPUBLICANS got it right ....probably since OBAMA took office. This shows how both parties are more corrupted....caring more about themselves and their family.

    October 7, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
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