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. Billy J..Texas..

    The Democrats should get him to resign and then appoint somebody like Dennis Kucinich or Al Franken to the post. (be careful what you wish for)

    October 7, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  2. We Won Get Over It

    Gee how come the republicans are all over Rangel but DID NOT ONE DARN THING done to Vitter, Frist and now Ensign....guess it's that letter after your name....if you have a D the republicans go for the juggler, but if it happens to be an R.....the hear nothing, see nothing, and speak nothing. Poor old republicans how more loathesome can they get.

    October 7, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  3. Bob in Pa

    The Ethics Committee is a joke !
    Lets refresh our Republic with new representatives all around.

    October 7, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  4. Wake Up

    Both parties are so corrupt. How do dems not get Rangel out???? THIS IS WHY WE CAN'T GIVE THEM MORE POWER, CONTROL AND TAX DOLLARS! They fight for their own parties, not for citizens!!! Do you understand now, why we say less govt. now!!

    October 7, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  5. C.J.

    He's not a victim of a smear campaign. He's guilty of being a hypocritical liar.

    October 7, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  6. Not so much

    If anyone knows about the absence of ethics, it's the Republicans.

    October 7, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  7. phoenix86

    Rangel shouldn't step down. He should be impeached, charged and imprisioned.

    October 7, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  8. Jerry

    Charlie Rangel is the face of the democrat party, congrats

    October 7, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  9. Carl

    Funny how the GOP call on Charlie Rangle to step down for what may be simple, although really stupid negligence, but have completely turned a blind eye to what clearly appears to be highly improper (not to mention morally reprehensible and disgusting) conduct by John Ensign. The Republicans, purportedly the party of "family values", is nothing but a bunch of pathetic hypocrites!

    October 7, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  10. Matt from Boston

    Is it me or do Democrats never take advantage of great situations given to them? The Republicans did such a terrible job running this country that the Democrats found themselves with a super majority and what do they do? They keep creating new taxes, raising existing taxes, keep a man as head of the committee for writing tax laws who cheated on his own taxes and ignore any sense of reason. Uggghh...what a mess! They have created no jobs, can't make a decision in Afghanistan where the soldiers are paying the price and keep printing money we don't have. This almost makes me wish for the mess I knew under the Bush administration.

    October 7, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  11. Lil Jimmy

    He hasn't paid taxes on 1.3 million. He has paid no fines. He claims he didn't know he had to report some of the income while forgetting to file others. Any citizen would be in jail or have their wages garnished. He is the head of the committee that writes the tax laws. How can you head a committee that you either don't understand or think any laws are not applicable to you? Not to mention him using rent controlled property for his offices. Wouldn't poor people stand to use that better? Democrats blast republicans for cheating on their wives while this guy is breaking the very laws he is suppose to write. Where is the outrage. Pelosi promised to have this investigation completed by Nov 2008. They will bring charges against a republican in the blink of an eye but protect their own.

    Vote out any incumbents and vote in independents. These crooks don't represent us.

    October 7, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  12. Connie, Indiana

    They want Rangel to step down "temorarily", why don't they tell Ensign to step down "temporarily" during his ethics investigation..Seems to me the republicans are after anyone and everyone they think they can get..How about investigating ethics when republicans are selling their votes against the American people.Is there a law against selling your votes? Seems to me that is what is happening, maybe wrong.

    October 7, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  13. trustisearned

    This is just another example of the blatant disregard of just doing what is right. How ever far removed from us you believe our elected leaders are, you're not even close.

    October 7, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  14. Jim

    This is the guy writing our taxes, unbelievable! Thanks democrats.

    October 7, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  15. Edward lawler

    So the ethics committee, controlled by dems has sat on this for a year, and when some action is being attempted, which one would think Rangel if innocent would welcome, is shunted back to that committee does that not smell of a conspiracy by Rangel and the house Dems. Politics in this country is totally corrupt and it is both parties doing it.

    October 7, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  16. Paul from Phoenix

    THe fact that this guy isn't in jail is amazing. Also, it is amazing that CNN posted this so low on the ticker, not even on the front web page. Yet, when Ensign and Sanford are caught having affairs, all over the web!

    October 7, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  17. Proud Member..Party of No

    Rangel is as rotten and corrupt as they come and should be thrown out of office and so, of course, the democrats love him and won't even remove him as Chairman of a committee.

    The democrat party stands for lying, thieving, disgusting corruption.

    October 7, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  18. Josh in TN

    Why is there no one calling for Ensign to resign. The party of morales should be calling for this themselves.

    October 7, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  19. Jim Carroll

    Republicans, you should know by now that it doesn't matter what crimes are committed by democrats because they never promised ethical/moral behaviors. It's only if you are republican that crimes are punishable by the US congress.

    October 7, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  20. Mr Manhattan

    The GOP threw alot of charges on Bill Clinton as well. When it came down to the wire during the impeachment trials all the GOP had left was his lie about getting some oral from Monica. They impeached him for it but he stayed in office while GOPers Newt & Livingston resigned in disgrace for the very thing Clinton did with Monica. The while thing from start to finish cost the American tax payer somewhere in the high millions. Its been a year now since they started investigating Charlie Rangal and they have gotten nada. So because the GOP cant nail him on anything hes charged with hes supposed to step down until they can? Sounds like its business as usual for the GOP, talkin loud & sayin nuthin.

    October 7, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  21. Party Purity will never bring Political Power!

    Oh by the way, while we are on the subject of ethics, where are the receipts from where Saint Sarah of the Silly donated her RNC purchased glad rags? She was going to donate them so there would be no ethics violation.


    Guess that is why she quit public office, no ethics and no need to return the clothes.

    You know that moral pillar of the republicans that the wing nuts want to run for President in 2012.

    October 7, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  22. John jr

    Gee a republican jerk citing Ethics??? Whats wrong with that corrupt picture? Of course they are the authority on bad ethics!

    October 7, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  23. inofritzn

    Now for 3 more years of "committee" GJ dems on stepping up and setting examples! Just bash repubs

    October 7, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  24. Typical Republican

    I'm with the party of Moral and Values....I vote for people like Sanford and Ensign.

    I'm a total moron who thinks republicans have values!

    October 7, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  25. Jacques

    Ha, ha, the ethically-challenged Democrats will protect their own. Whether it is Murtha or Rangel, no Democrat will have anything happen to him or her in Pelosi's House. So much for the most ethical Congress in history.

    October 7, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
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