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Members of a House panel on Thursday charged Rep. Charles Rangel (D) of New York with violating a list of House ethics rules.
The subject of an 18-month investigation, Representative Rangel – a 40-year member of Congress and the House’s fourth most-senior member – now faces a House trial in which eight members (four Democrats and four Republicans) will rule on the findings.
The four-member panel of the House ethics committee did not lay out the alleged violations in detail. But they are reported to include at least some of the most serious.
The allegations range from misuse of rent-controlled apartments in New York City and failure to disclose income from a villa in the Dominican Republic to reports that he exchanged official favors – a tax loophole for oil driller Nabors Industries Ltd. – in exchange for a $1 million gift to the Charles Rangel Center at City College of New York.
Last year, Republicans failed to force Rangel to step down as chairman of the influential tax-writing Ways and Means Committee. But when the House ethics panel reported that Rangel had violated House gift rules by accepting corporate funding for trips to the Caribbean, he relinquished his committee chairmanship in March.
At the time, Melanie Sloan, executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics (CREW), an ethics watchdog in Washington, told the Monitor that “trips to the Caribbean are the least of his problems.”
“As we get deeper into election season, support is eroding for Rangel, because members know that ethics matters with voters,” she said.
With the latest turn in Rangel’s fight to avoid further political damage, Ms. Sloan’s organization called for the congressman’s resignation from the House.
“Today’s action demonstrates that the notoriously lax Ethics Committee has found substantial reason to believe that Representative Rangel has violated federal law, House rules, or both,” Sloan said in a statement. “Now the question is whether Representative Rangel will resign or endure a public trial that promises to be filled with detailed and undoubtedly embarrassing revelations of wrongdoing. Representative Rangel has toughed it out as long as he could, the time clearly has come for him to resign. He can no longer effectively represent the citizens of New York.”
In his Harlem district, where he remains popular, calls for Rangel’s resignation from the House may not carry much political weight.
North Korea has promised a “physical response” to joint US-South Korean military exercises this weekend. The comments came as Asian foreign ministers met in Vietnam for a regional security forum.
The forum has been dominated by the crisis resulting from North Korea’s sinking of a South Korean warship in March. The US accused Pyongyang of “provocative” behaviour and has announced new sanctions.
Four months after President Obama signed the health-reform bill into law, House Democrats are officially plotting to bring back the government-run health plan that was stripped out of it.
House members introduced the Public Option Act Wednesday evening to create a Medicare-like public plan that would compete with private insurance plans. Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Calif., is the bill’s main sponsor.
With help from two of our country’s most prominent leaders – former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich – Americans are being alerted to a truly horrifying prospect:
The site where nearly 3,000 Americans were murdered on 09/11/01 is at risk of being defiled by a 13-story megamosque. More importantly, people across the Nation are learning about the true purpose of this complex.
A lawsuit against Augusta State University in Georgia alleges school officials gave a graduate student the choice of giving up her Christian beliefs or being expelled from the graduate program.
School officials Mary Jane Anderson-Wiley, Paulette Schenck and Richard Deaner demanded student Jen Keeton, 24, go through a “remediation” program after she asserted homosexuality is a behavioral choice.
Only 11% of the country has confidence in the United States Congress, making it the lowest ranked institution in a new Gallup poll. Among the 1,020 adults surveyed, Congress rates lower than banks, labor, big business and Health Maintenance Organizations.
Trust in the president is down 15 percentage points since June. The military is the top-ranked institution with 76% expressing confidence.
Jared Bernstein, chief economist for Vice President Biden, served in 2008 as an economic adviser to the Obama campaign. At the same time, he was a member of JournoList, the leftist email list.
One question that has arisen in the last week is how closely JournoList members, not only discussed how to shape the news to advance the fortunes of Barack Obama, but coordinated with the Obama campaign.
Sen. John Kerry, who has repeatedly voted to raise taxes while in Congress, dodged a whopping six-figure state tax bill on his new multimillion-dollar yacht by mooring her in Newport, R.I.
Instead of berthing the vessel in Nantucket, where the senator summers, Isabel’s hailing port is listed as “Newport”. Could the reason be that the Ocean State repealed its Boat Sales and Use Tax back in 1993?