House to honor once-censured Rangel

Sept. 22, 2011 at 7:50 AM
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 22 (UPI) -- U.S. Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., will be honored by the U.S. House of Representatives less than a year after the chamber censured him in an ethics scandal.

House leaders Thursday pay tribute to the former chairman of the Ways and Means Committee with a ceremony unveiling Rangel's official portrait as head of the committee, a post he led from 2007 until March 2010, when Democrats pressured him to step down as the scandal over unpaid taxes, unreported assets and misuse of his office grew, The Hill said.

House Speaker John Boehner will speak at the unveiling, as will Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, Minority Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland, U.S. Sens. Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, both of New York, and Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., Congressional Black Caucus chairman. Current Ways and Means Chairman Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., will moderate.

"I don't think I have to share how pleased I am that we're moving forward. What happened last year is last year," Rangel said.

In December, the House voted 333-79 to censure Rangel on rules violations arising from unpaid taxes on a home he owned in the Dominican Republic, undisclosed financial assets and improper use of his office for fundraising.

Rangel sought permission from the Federal Election Commission to use campaign funds to underwrite the portrait that his lawyer estimated cost more than $64,000, The Hill said. The FEC said Rangel could bill the expense to his campaign, which records indicated he did in 2008.

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