House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer vowed today to block any resolution by House Republicans to forcibly remove Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) as chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.
Rep. John Carter (R-TX), the Republican conference secretary, said he will introduce the resolution if Rangel does not step down this week. Republican leaders are reportedly ready to support the resolution.
“To allow Mr. Rangel to continue to serve as chairman is the same as allowing a confessed bank robber to serve as chairman of the Banking Committee during the trial,” Carter said in a statement.
Rangel is being investigated by the House ethics committee for alleged offenses including not reporting income on his tax and financial disclosure forms, taking a corporate-sponsored trips and renting apartments at below-market value. (See TPMmuckraker’s most recent rundown of the allegations.)
Asked about Carter’s resolution at a press conference today in Manhattan, Rangel said, “I’m disappointed in him.”
He didn’t answer any other questions regarding his ethical troubles at the presser, which he held to talk about stimulus-funded transit projects. At one point someone in a passing car yelled out, “Charlie, pay your taxes!”
After Rangel amended his financial disclosure forms in August to reveal an extra $600,000 in assets, House Minority Leader John Boehner renewed calls for Rangel to step aside as chairman of the powerful committee.