In what may be the ultimate in vanity plates, House Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) is hoping to steer some $2 million to a building project at the City College of New York that will house — wait for it — not one, not two, but three construction projects bearing the gravelly voiced lawmaker’s name.
First, there’s the Charles B. Rangel Center for
Public Service. Then, there’s the Rangel Conference Center and of course the Charles Rangel Library, which will hold all of his important papers. The building – which the college will refurbish using the federal funding — also will include a “well-furnished office” for the lawmaker, according to a CBS News report.
Now, while House rules prohibit Members from naming federal buildings after themselves, they don’t say anything about steering federal funding toward a project — or projects, as the case may be — bearing one’s name.
But it won’t happen if Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) — conservative, budget hawk and general party pooper — has anything to say about it. DeMint offered an amendment Wednesday to strip the language from the Labor-Health and Human Services appropriations bill. Although at press time it was unclear whether the effort would be successful, DeMint spokesman Wesley Denton, with tongue firmly in cheek, wondered if Rangel was simply confused. “When we said Members should put their names on their earmarks, we didn’t mean it literally. If he gets that trillion-dollar tax hike he’s working on, Rangel will have enough tax dollars to name just about everything in the state of New York after himself,” Denton said.
Seven Is Enough? Part of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s thumbnail biography is that she’s a grandmother of six. But the extended Pelosi clan is expanding, and soon the California Democrat will be able to call herself a grandmother of seven. Daughter Alexandra, a writer and documentary filmmaker, is expecting her second child in early December, HOH hears. The younger Pelosi and husband, Dutch journalist Michiel Vos, welcomed their first child in November 2006. Speaker Pelosi (we’re guessing that’s not what the tykes call her) boasted of the new addition to reporters Wednesday morning, referring to her swelling brood of “six grandchildren, going on seven.”
Shake on It. You can take the man out of Searchlight, Nev., but you can’t take Searchlight out of Sen. Harry Reid (D). After speaking at the Dalai Lama’s Congressional Medal of Honor ceremony Wednesday, the Majority Leader could only have been what HOH would describe as star-struck (and we’re guessing it’s not because Richard Gere was near).
Following his remarks, Reid proceeded to shake the Dalai Lama’s hand, then Speaker Pelosi’s, bypassing the guy standing to the Dalai Lama’s right — who was none other than President Bush — at least until Pelosi redirected him to shake the prez’s hand.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.