Ahead of the vote to censure Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) for ethics violations, the long-serving congressman made a final plea on the floor of the House of Representatives for his colleagues to lessen his punishment to a reprimand.
Rangel cited his record of military service as he admitted that he brought his problems upon himself. The New York Democrat was found guilty of 11 ethics violations by the House ethics panel, which then recommended Rangel be censured. The full House voted late Thursday to do so, and Speaker Pelosi (D-CA) read out that censure immediately after the vote.
“I tell you that story not for sympathy but to let you know that at that time in every sense I made up my mind that I could never complain to God for any events that occur in my life and I would dedicate my life in trying in some meaningful way to improve quality of live for all Americans as well as much as I could do for human kind,” Rangel said.
“I do believe that senior members should act in a way as a model for new and less experienced members. I do believe that there should be enforcement of the laws, and there should be sanctioned. But if you are breaking new grounds, I ask for fairness,” Rangel added.
“I brought it on myself. But I still believe this body has to be guided by fairness. And so that’s all I’m saying. I’m not here to complain. I have too much to be thankful for, being from where I am and where I am today. And once again, it has been awkward especially for my friends and supporters but I want to respect the dignity of the community that elected me to serve them. I want to continue to serve this Congress and this country. And do what I can to make life better for other people and I think we all agree that in 40 years I have tried my best to do that,” Rangel said.