October 7th, 2009
08:34 PM ET
11 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. RI Moderate

    term limits would mitigate the type of institutional graft that folks like Rangel shame us with.

    What are the dems doing about this guy?

    October 7, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  2. Doug, New Jersey

    There is not one person in this nation who is not a Democrat that is as evil, hateful, dishonest, self-centered, reckless, and mean spirited as Charlie Rangel.

    To hear the things he said about Bush, knowing the things that he has done and supported, it is beyond hypocritical it is just downright Democratic.

    Democrats will go on about the fake ethics charges against Palin and other great Americans who have what democrats lack, morals and values, Yet these Democrats will never ever speak a negative word against the worst crooks in America like Rangel. God wont judge him on his tax fraud, he will be judged like every other Democrat, on the continuing plan of holding back the less fortunate in America for poltiical gain, it is beyond evil.

    October 7, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  3. G2

    Having Charlie Rangel in Congress is hypocritical and corrupt. This makes the Democrats and Nancy Pelosi look corrupt too.

    October 7, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  4. Bob

    The Democrats need to be careful here. Rangel is in trouble and should at least step aside while an investigation is conducted. Leaving him there shows a double-standard that they would never allow if this were a Republican.

    I hate politicians.

    October 7, 2009 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  5. Enough

    Not only does he need to resign his post permanently, he needs to be thrown out all together. Tax evasion should NOT be tolerated from those raising our taxes.

    October 7, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |

    Of course dems will protect him. the only time they believe in right or wrong is when its a republican who is corupt.

    October 7, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  7. Peter

    Monkey see monkey do! thats the politicians philosophy! Because the democrates are going for Ensign now you have to go for Rangel? how pathetic nothing will be done on the economy because of politicking day in day out!

    October 7, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  8. The Lonely Libertarian of Liverpool NY

    Name one honest Congressional leader in Washington? Anyone? anyone? They are all filling their pockets with special interest money and favors. Leaving the American taxpayer to pay.

    October 7, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  9. Randolph Carter, the real enemy of humanity

    Ethics? Really? How much ethical behavior have we seen from either party lately? Gimme a break. Have a nice day!

    October 7, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  10. Melissa

    The Republicans wouldn't know ethical behavior if it bit them on the butt, so they have no room to talk. This just shows how childish they're being.

    October 7, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  11. Idiot_Pelosi

    Yes, instead of the DUMocRATS cleaning house, they decide to protect a clear CORRUPT politician who has committed multiple criminal acts.

    Yea, some change?

    October 7, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  12. MatthewDetroit

    Funny how Rangel is a complete thief but Pelosi will not let anything happen to him..

    House votes to kill resolution to oust New York's Charlie Rangel as head of Ways and Means Committee after reading laundry list of alleged wrongdoing.

    October 7, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  13. Proud member of "Gloal Zero"

    First, Ensign, Colburn and everyone else that thinks they are above the law need to go too.

    Why don't we get rid of everyone that voted to start the Iraq War. Now THAT is criminal. War Crimes time!!!!!!

    October 7, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  14. Big Ed

    If all the people in Congress had to step down who had questionable ehtics, that would be one empty building!

    October 7, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  15. Dixon

    In my opinion we need to investigate all of the politicians. It is amazing to me how so many make accusations then become entangled in their own ethics issue.

    October 7, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  16. Operation Replacement

    Hey, Nancy...is this the way to run your House?

    October 7, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  17. Glass Houses

    Although I do not agree with Rangel, perhaps the GOP should clean their own ethical affairs first (Ensign, Vitter) before they hypocritically project onto to others? It might give the Party of No more credibility.

    October 7, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  18. Jenn, Philadelphia

    If you have to file 3 amended tax returns, in addition to the original return you filed, then there is no "media smear campaign", you are a tax cheat. The only reason it's taking a year is it's taking the Democrats that long to figure out a way to quash the investigation.

    October 7, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  19. Mississippi Miss

    One cannot expect a man with no integrity to do the right thing.

    Classic example, Bill Clinton, Mark Sanford, Ensign and other men who have failed in their first pledge to honor their bride, have failed society also. As elected officials, they should admit first to God and then to themselves that they are liars in the fundamental sense of the word. Liar = one who does not tell the truth. "I did not have sex with that woman". I make a mistake just doesn't cut it, with me anyway.

    Not trying to be self-righteouss, just honest. If Mr. Rangel had any
    decency, even one ounce of judgement that was not self-serving, he would not have evaded his taxes, and he would resign now, having
    lost the trust and positive influence of many many many Americans.

    October 7, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  20. worriedmom

    Amazing that the Democrats are supporting this crook! Do I think the race card is involved, you betcha!!! Democrats your ship is sinking. How can anyone democrat, republican or liberal say that this is ok what this man did!!! He doesn't pay his taxes but is in charge of our tax laws!! Maybe everyone should refuse to pay taxes until ths crook and Geithner are done with. Ms. Pelosi, all I have to say to you is YOU LIE!!! you said this congress would be the best and most transparent.... YOU LIE!!!

    October 7, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  21. Phil

    It just goes to show how crooked politicians are...Republican or Democrat. Rangel should have been ousted from that position AND Congress years ago. He is the definition of a slimy crook. The House squashing the resolution shows just how corrupt they are as well.

    October 7, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  22. Moderate Democrat

    Oh, well if we are going to start using ethics as a qualification, that means there will be no more GOP. The GOP is the most criminal and unethical cult of masochists this country has ever seen, with the Taliban and Al Qaeda coming in a distant second.

    October 7, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  23. Caesar the Great

    Only in America will people vote to keep the person in charge of committees on taxes when it has been revealed that they owe well over $1Million in back taxes. If I am off by $20 I risk going to jail and am fined, gotta love this great country we live in!!!

    October 7, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  24. Scott, Tucson

    So much for Pelosi ethical congress when she allows crooks like Charlie Rangel to remain in office. Does this mean I get a green light to cheat on my taxes like the Dem's do?

    October 7, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  25. Lilarose in Bandon, OR

    The Republicans never remember anything!

    Get rid of Rangel and Republicans will lose even more minority votes in coming elections.

    What it is all about is the Republicans don't have any new or workable ideas for solving our country's problems.

    So they are using their time for junk like this.

    October 7, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
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