Rangel stepped down as chairman of the powerful committee during an ongoing ethics committee investigation of his tax and real estate records. The committe had already admonished him for accepting corporate-sponsored trips.
Rangel said his decision to step aside was taken to help pass healthcare reform, The Hill reported Wednesday. By temporarily relinquishing his seat, Rangel said, Democrats were shielded from pressure from Republicans calling for him to hand over the gavel.
"It's been 18 long months," The Hill reported Rangel as saying on Fox Business Network. "One thing is clear, there (are) no charges there by anybody."
Rep. Sander Levin, D-Mich., was named acting chairman of the tax-writing committee in Rangel's absence.
"As soon as the ethics committee completes its work, I will be back sitting in the seat," Rangel said on Fox network.
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