December 3, 2010 by USA Post
Censure Congress, In a rare gesture, the House voted Thursday, 333 to 79, the 15-run censorship Charles Rangel (D) of New York for 11 violations of ethics, ranging from failure to disclose the result of violating the ban gifts from the House.
In a solemn moment, Mr. Rangel stood silently, as Nancy Pelosi, the anguished search, read Resolution 11-censorship online; the first visited this room in 27 years. Rangel became the 23rd Congress of History of the House to be censured.
The vote requires Rangel, former chairman of the powerful Ways and Means Committee, to pay restitution for unpaid taxes assessed on income from properties in the Dominican Republic and to provide proof of payment to the Ethics Committee.
Charles Rangel vote of censure: Five more people than the House has slapped down
Censorship is the strongest disciplinary action of Congress short of expulsion. It was used in the past to sanction members for assault on another member (1856), the conduct of treason (1864), the sale of military academy appointments (1870), Corruption (1973), the Payroll fraud (1979) and, more recently, sexual misconduct with pages of the House (1983).
“The decision to recommend [censored] was not taken lightly,” said the chairman of the ethics committee Zoe Lofgren (D) of California. “He has brought discredit to the House member with a great responsibility for tax policy, has not paid his taxes for many years, “she added.”We follow precedent, but we also define.
Rangel urged members of the House to reject censorship in favor of the lesser punishment of censure, which could have been delivered in private or in a letter. “I made serious mistakes,” he said in a statement before the vote. “I brought on myself, but I still believe that this body must be guided by fairness.”
Supporters, including many in the Congressional Black Caucus and New York delegation, supported this call. “Censorship is an extremely serious punishment,” said Rep. Peter King (R) New York, one of two Republicans to vote against censorship. “Why are we asked to reverse over 200 years of tradition and precedent?”
But tolerance for corruption has declined in the House, especially after the issue so prominently in handing control of the House Republicans in the 1994 elections and back to Democrats in the 2006 vote. Pelosi came to power promising to “drain the swamp,” Rangel and the case was an embarrassment that preceded the vote in 2010, overthrew the control of the House back to Republicans.
“In the culture of the House, be reprimanded or censured is serious, and Charlie will feel very difficult, because it is an institutional creature,” says former House historian Raymond Smock, director of the Center for Robert Byrd Legislative Studies in Shepherdstown, WV “He appreciates the House, although he provided some embarrassment to him.”
Addressing the House after the confidence vote, Rangel said: “I know in my heart, I will not be considered by this Congress, but by my life, my activities and contributions to society.”
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