Tags: rangel | ethic | rules | violation | house

House Finds Rangel Violated Ethics Rules

Thursday, 25 Feb 2010 06:58 PM

 

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
WASHINGTON – Rep. Charles Rangel, the most powerful tax-writing lawmaker in Congress and a 40-year veteran of Capitol Hill, acknowledged Thursday that an ethics panel has accused him of accepting corporate money for Caribbean trips in violation of House rules.

The panel exonerated five other members of the Congressional Black Caucus who also were on the 2007 and 2008 trips to Antigua and St. Martin but told them they will have to pay for the trips.

The findings are certain to raise questions of whether Rangel, a New York Democrat, can continue as Ways and Means Committee chairman in an election year. Democrats took over the House in 2006 on a campaign promise to "end a culture of corruption" in Congress that they blamed on 12 years of Republican rule.

The ethics panel also ended another widespread investigation Thursday, saying if found no violations of House rules by six lawmakers who steered government money and projects and contracts to favored companies that had donated to their re-election campaigns.

A copy of the letters and an accompanying report on them were obtained by The Associated Press. All six — four Democrats and two Republicans — are or were senior members of the House Appropriations Committee.

The most prominent of the them was the late Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., the former chairman of the defense appropriations subcommittee who died earlier this month. The other five lawmakers exonerated in that probe are Reps. Norman Dicks, D-Wash.; Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio; Peter Visclosky, D-Ind., Todd Tiahrt, R-Kan. and C.W. "Bill" Young, R-Fla.

In the Rangel case, the ethics committee's report did not include any formal charges that could have brought him a more serious censure against the 79-year-old New York Democrat. However, it's not the end of his ethics problems.

The panel, formally the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, is still investigating Rangel's use of official stationery to raise money for a college center to be named after him and incomplete financial disclosures that omitted some income and assets, including rent he received from a vacation home in the Dominican Republic.

Rangel's staff knew that corporate money paid for the Caribbean trips, the committee said, but it could not determine whether Rangel's aides told him about it.

Those who did not know about the corporate financing, according to the committee, were Reps. Bennie Thompson of Mississippi, Yvette Clarke of New York, Donald Payne of New Jersey, Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick of Michigan and Donna Christensen, the nonvoting delegate from the Virgin Islands.

"Common sense dictates that members of Congress should not be held responsible for what could be the wrongdoing or mistakes or errors of staff unless there's reason to believe that member knew or should have known, and there is nothing in the record to indicate the latter," Rangel said at a hastily called evening news conference Thursday evening.

Who chairs the Ways and Means Committee is especially important this year, when Democrats are trying to overhaul the nation's health care system and Congress has to decide what to do about billions of dollars in tax cuts Americans at every income have enjoyed for a decade but are due to expire in December.

Less than two hours before the ethics panel's findings were first reported by the AP, Rangel had attended President Barack Obama's daylong summit on health care. The government already covers about half Americans' health care costs, mostly through programs that originated in or came through the committee Rangel chairs.

Democrats want to extend the tax cuts for middle- and low-income families, including an expanded child tax credit, while raising taxes on families making more than $250,000. They would allow the top income tax rate to rise from 35 percent to 39.6 percent, the level it was before former President George W. Bush's tax cuts.

Rangel was first elected to the House in 1970 from New York's Harlem district, defeating Adam Clayton Powell Jr., at the time the most prominent black politician in the country.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Twitter to Track Which Apps Its Users Have

Wednesday, 26 Nov 2014 22:22 PM

If you use Twitter on your cellphone, the social media site will soon begin tracking which apps you use unless you activ . . .

Harry Reid: 'We Sure Do Like' Pope Francis

Wednesday, 26 Nov 2014 22:09 PM

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Mormon, says he's an unabashed fan of Roman Catholic Pope Francis. . . .

EU Presses Google for Global 'Right to Be Forgotten'

Wednesday, 26 Nov 2014 21:36 PM

The European Union is pressing tech giant Google to expand the right to be forgotten to all its search tools.
A r . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved