Republicans Mount Political Move to Attack Rangel

Posted February 4, 2009 at 3:55pm

Hoping to keep House Democrats’ ethics woes in the spotlight, Rep. John Carter (R-Texas) offered a resolution on the floor Wednesday demanding that Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) resign from his post amid an ongoing investigation into his personal finances.

Rangel, who has come under fire in recent months over reports of tax evasion and omissions on his financial disclosure forms, has “dishonored himself and brought discredit” on the House, Carter’s resolution said. It added that until he is thoroughly investigated, “Rangel is hereby removed as chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means.”

Carter’s privileged resolution, viewed as more political stunt than legislative maneuver, will lay over for two legislative days, at which point Democratic leaders are likely take it up and table it.

Rangel has been accused of accepting rent-controlled apartments from a New York real estate developer, failing to pay taxes on $75,000 in rental income from a Dominican Republic villa and making numerous omissions and other errors over the past decade on his financial disclosure forms. Rangel has acknowledged having made inadvertent errors but has denied any ethical or criminal wrongdoing.

The House ethics panel is investigating the allegations.