House Panel Backs Censure for Rangel

The House Ethics Committee voted Thursday to censure U.S. Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY) after finding him guilty of 11 counts of ethics violations. Under the censure resolution, Rangel will be forced to stand alone in the well of the House while being verbally reprimanded by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who will also read out the censure resolution. He will also be required to pay the back taxes on his vacation home in the Dominican Republic. The Ethics Committee voted 9 to 1 for the penalty, which is the harshest sentence for any lawmaker in the past 30 years. Rangel, 80, a 40-year congressman and once the head of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, made an emotional plea before the sentencing, and admitted that, while he may have acted improperly, he didn’t gain financially from his actions. “How can 40 witnesses, 30,000 pages of transcripts, over 550 exhibits measure against my 40 years of service and committee to this body I love so much?” Rangel said.