Rangel Mars Passage of Dems’ State Aid Bill
With the House reconvened in a special session to pass a crucial state aid bill yesterday, Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) took to the floor to deliver a rambling and emotional 37 minute long defense of the ethics charges held against him — against the wishes of Democratic leadership and his own lawyers:
The New York Democrat and 40-year House veteran had a sharp message in dismissing fellow Democrats who, worried about election losses, want him to quit: “If I can’t get my dignity back here, then fire your best shot in getting rid of me through expulsion.”
It wasn’t so much what Rangel said, but when he chose to do it, that infuriated Dems. Already worried about the impact of his ongoing trial on their upcoming House races, Democrats were doubly annoyed that Rangel’s rant held up an important vote and threatened to distract from the main messages Democrats were trying to promote yesterday: saving jobs.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) attempted to cut Rangel’s remarks short, reminding him that their proper forum was before the House Ethics subcommittee, but Rangel persisted. He may very well have too many friends in the House to resist any effort to remove him, but outbursts like the one he engaged in yesterday certainly aren’t wining him any more.