Skip to comments.Censure briefly forgotten as House leaders honor Rep. (tax-cheat) Charles Rangel
Posted on 09/24/2011 3:26:22 AM PDT by Libloather
Censure briefly forgotten as House leaders honor Rep. Charles Rangel
By Russell Berman - 09/22/11 07:24 PM ET
House leaders honored Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y) with an official Capitol portrait Thursday, sweeping aside two years of scandal and a formal rebuke to recognize a man who rose from humble beginnings to become a congressional pioneer.
As a packed committee room full of hometown supporters and congressional allies serenaded Rangel with chants of Charlie, Charlie, it seemed as though the ethical firestorm that led to a House censure had been briefly forgotten.
Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) lauded his long and highly decorated service, joking that the two men were in some ways cut from the same cloth because they shared a particular concern about our appearance. Boehner, who pushed for Rangel to resign as the first African-American chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, described him as a friend and said that despite their differences, they spoke nearly every day on the House floor.
The second-ranking House Democrat, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), who voted to censure Rangel on the House floor, hailed him as a hero for his service in the Korean War and said it had been a privilege and an honor to serve with him.
After earning a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star in Korea, Rangel returned to New York and entered politics. He challenged longtime Harlem Rep. Adam Clayton Powell Jr. in 1970 and has served in the House ever since. A liberal stalwart, he rose to lead the Congressional Black Caucus and in 2007, he became chairman of the Ways and Means Committee when Democrats won the House majority.
By 2008, reports surfaced that Rangel had not paid taxes on a villa he owned in the Dominican Republic and that he had used official congressional stationery to raise money for an education center name in his honor in New York.
He relinquished his chairmanship in March 2010, under pressure from leaders of both parties.
The unveiling of Rangels portrait came nine months after his moment of humiliation, when a vote of his colleagues forced him to stand in the well of the House in formal rebuke for violations that included unpaid taxes to improper use of his office for fund-raising.
The speakers who celebrated Rangels career on Thursday never directly mentioned the ethics cloud, focusing on his 40-year House career while praising his indomitable fighting spirit.
This is a man who had the personality of a basketball. Anytime he hit the floor, he bounced back up, said Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus.
It was left to Rangel, ever known for his candor, to bring up the elephant in the room.
Anybody that wants to ask about the Ethics Committee, Im not answering any questions, Rangel quipped.
For most of the hour-long ceremony, Rangel, 81, sat beaming as a parade of congressional colleagues lauded his service and, in particular, his dedication to fighting for the poor. The portrait was painted by Simmie Knox, who painted the official White House portraits of President Clinton and then-first Lady hillary Clinton.
It shows a smiling Rangel dressed in a dark suit and red tie, holding the Ways and Means gavel. To his right are the American flag and a display of the seven service medals he was awarded in Korea.
When it was his turn to speak, Rangel offered a long list of thank-yous and bemoaned what he described as a dearth of reason in modern politics and campaigns. He paid tribute to a country that had allowed him to rise so high and achieve so much.
We know theres a lot of hypocrisy involved, and we know theres a lot of racism involved, but we also know that theres no country in the whole world that is as good to all people as the United States of America, Rangel said.
My life is a story that anyone can make it from a high school dropout to having been chair of this great committee.
The doesn’t even come close to the Demorats party held immediately following the impeachment of Billy “The Womanizer” Clintoon.
No doubt Rangal “The Rat” didn’t deserve ANY recognition but then, who’s counting?
It’s called “Honor Among Thieves” I believe........
Boehner, who pushed for Rangel to resign as the first African-American chairman of the Ways and Means Committee
MEGA-ULTRA NUCLEAR-LEVEL BARF ALERT!!!
I stopped reading there.
Putting aside what a joke Boehner has become, the writer seems to be implying Boehner wasn't asking Rangel to resign from being the chairman, but that he was asking him to resign as the first African-American chairman. Does he get to come back if he calls himself an Asian?
Exactly. Each of these guys is thinking, "Poor Charlie had a good thing going but was too dumb and got caught. I'm pretty slick and they haven't caught me yet, but you never know what is coming. We've got to stick together, protect each other, and comfort those who do get caught."
What a pack of phonies.
There really are not two parties, only a pack of political thieves out for the good life at our expense.
I wouldn’t trust any of them to take a 50 cent bank deposit to the bank for me.
Boehner should be ashamed to have even shown up.
This is really sick. Birds of a feather flock together.
He, and a lot of others in Congress should be jailbirds. Shamelessly corrupt!
We need a new speaker in Jan 2013
I agree with your post #6.
This is the reason you hear “Throw them all out and start over”. And who can argue with that?
At least Boehner didn’t cry. There was really NO need for this from the Republicans, who won’t gain a single vote from playing up to this censured congressman; let Rangel’s sycophants show up with the phony compliments.
Congressmen have no principles, apparently. Whether they are Republicans or Democrats, they have no principles.
It’s all about position, status, backroom deals, and winning elections.
I despise what washington d.c. has become.
the representative with a LEARNING CURVE.
what a joke he is
Insanity on display; all these Elitist hack politicians have to be voted out in disgrace ASAP.
Whisky Tango Foxtrot?
Rangel is black with straight hair, Boehner is orange.
Former Police commish and Republican Benard Kerik, one of the most decorated cops in NYD history, is doing FOUR years for doing a fraction of what Democrat Rangel has been doing for YEARS.
I can. Why would you throw out your allies?