NBC: Rangel to step down as Ways and Means chairman; Update: Rangel refuses to quit; Update: Taking “leave of absence”

posted at 8:20 pm on March 2, 2010 by Allahpundit

I’ll take this as an omen for the ObamaCare vote, but what kind of omen is it? Proof that some Dems, a.k.a. Rangel, are willing to commit kamikaze for the greater good?

Or proof that that the caucus is no longer listening to Madam Speaker?

After being admonished by an ethics panel for accepting corporate-sponsored trips to the Caribbean, Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., will give his chairmanship of the powerful House Ways and Means committee, NBC News has learned.

The top spot may temporarily go to Rep. Sander Levin, D-Mich., according to leadership sources, or to Rep. Pete Stark of California, the committee’s second-ranking Democrat.

Sources indicated Tuesday to NBC that Rangel had been encouraged to step aside before the House voted on a bill to strip him of his chairmanship.

“We don’t have the votes to save him,” one Democratic member said of Rangel.

Translation: At least 39 Democrats are so terrified of Rangel’s toxicity that they’re willing to risk a fracture with the Congressional Black Caucus to save their own asses in November. In fact, at least one of those 39 was a member of the CBC himself: Artur Davis, who’s running to become governor of red-state Alabama and who became the first black congressman to call for Rangel to step down this afternoon. Once he defected, the anti-Rangel forces had the political cover they needed to get tough with the now-former chairman.

Exit question: If 39 (or more) Dems are too terrified of the electoral consequences to stand by Uncle Charlie, how much more terrified must they be of standing behind O-Care? In which case, where is Pelosi getting the votes?

Update: The plot thickens!

Charlie Rangel emerged from a closed-door meeting in Nancy Pelosi’s office Tuesday night to declare that he’s still the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee and hasn’t agreed to give up his gavel – even as some media outlets were reporting that he’d done just that.

But asked whether he’d still be the chairman tomorrow and in the coming days, Rangel said: “I can’t make all those promises at my age.”

And when Pelosi was asked whether Rangel was resigning, she said “no comment.”

When Roll Call asked him if he’ll still be chairman, he said, “You bet your life.” Looks like we’re going to have to do this the hard way. On to the floor vote! Just one question: Who leaked the bogus news that he had quit? Was that the Dems’ way of trying to pressure him into leaving, knowing that if it looked like he had changed his mind and was trying to hold on, irritated caucus members would be more likely to abandon him?

Update: Can you feel Pelosi’s excitement?

After meeting with Rangel, Pelosi initially said, “No comment” when asked if Rangel remains panel chairman.

She added, “I guess he is still chair of Ways and Means…”

Update: This has taken a decided turn towards the awesome.

While the floor vote would not be binding on Mr. Rangel, a growing number of rank-and-file Democrats said they could not envision standing behind the embattled chairman given the likelihood that he would soon face further reprimands by the ethics committee, and Republican challengers would criticize such a vote in the fall elections.

A senior Democrat on the Ways and Means Committee said that he could not vote in support of Mr. Rangel and had informed House leaders of his position. “I think it’s done,” this lawmaker said, speaking on condition of anonymity, who said he was worried about opening the floodgates to further criticism of Mr. Rangel.

Update: He’s going away. But just for a little while, until the heat dies down.

Asked by an NBC reporter if he will remain chairman, Rangel responded with an emphatic “yes.”

“You bet your life on it,” he said.

But t wo Democratic sources tell NBC News that Rangel will take a “leave of absence” — beginning Wednesday — until the investigation is over.


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Comment pages: 1 2 3

Wow. This story went into overtime while i wasn’t looking.

Rude on March 3, 2010 at 1:37 AM

So long as Nancy needs a health care vote, Rangel keeps his position…

Skywise on March 3, 2010 at 1:40 AM

How many of our Congresspeople are actually senile?

I’m guessing 30-40 in the House, and 8-10 in the Senate.

notropis on March 3, 2010 at 2:08 AM

Pete Stark as chairman might be worse for Dems than Rangel.

Mark1971 on March 2, 2010 at 8:23 PM

He is nuts. A real freak.

capitalist piglet on March 3, 2010 at 4:00 AM

This corrupt Socialist should have been indicted long ago. Unfortunately I see this as a way to submerge him and his crimes in an effort to moderate voter retaliation in November. If the electorate is naive enough to buy it he will be “acquitted” and resurface to torture us again in the Washington sewer. Vote out ALL incumbents, they are the curse of our country.

nraendowment on March 3, 2010 at 5:08 AM

Rangel is done. He’s been gameing the system for too long and is not as limber as he once was. Shoulda quit while you was ahead, Charlie.

joe btfsplk on March 3, 2010 at 6:25 AM

You can’t imagine, as a New Yorker, how I utterly loathe and detest Charles Rangel. Ufortunately, we are such and entrenched liberal bastion that we are doomed to have more of the same, just without the Brylcreem.

Oh well, Charlie’s constituents – keep phucking that chicken!

J.J. Sefton on March 3, 2010 at 7:02 AM

Stories like this make that first cup of coffee, a little more tasty! :-)

MNHawk on March 3, 2010 at 7:38 AM

Another verse to the same old song, How Low Can You Go? We, the people, get exactly the government we deserve. NY keeps this scum in office year after year. Most of those currently in office deserve prison time. I weep for our lost integrity.

Crusader Rabbit on March 3, 2010 at 7:49 AM

Yeah, don’t kid yourselves….this guy is a crook among crooks. He’s just negotiating his severance package.

therealfranklin on March 3, 2010 at 7:55 AM

He doesn’t have to wait. I’ll tell him what his strength is:

You’re black.

Rangel is Hispanic, not black.

Dirty Creature on March 3, 2010 at 8:09 AM

“I guess he is still chair of Ways and Means…”

Evidently, he can’t be fired. Must be a union member.

ROCnPhilly on March 3, 2010 at 8:10 AM

I don’t want to see him step down. I want to see him tried, convicted and sent to prison where he belongs.

TrickyDick on March 3, 2010 at 8:21 AM

That’s right . . . just let the slimy crook take a paid vacation. This country is rotting from the inside out.

rplat on March 3, 2010 at 8:22 AM

Speaking of the CBC, Georgia has four Black House members. Georgia is now reeling from a one billion plus budget shortfall. The cuts are going to hit everyone. This year Georgia raised their taxes just a little bit. I don’t know how they voted before on Obamacare, but does Hank Johnson, David Scott, John Lewis and Sanford Bishop want to walk into the 2010 elections with a vote that will add more taxes and unfunded mandates to Georgia.

jeannie on March 3, 2010 at 8:28 AM

Excuse the bad pun, but wondering if a white wash is possible?

jeanie on March 3, 2010 at 8:42 AM

Rangel is Hispanic, not black.

Dirty Creature on March 3, 2010 at 8:09 AM

He is a founding member of The Congressional Black Caucus and his bio says that he is the first African American to chair the House ways and means committee.

Oldnuke on March 3, 2010 at 9:01 AM

Rangel is Hispanic, not black.

Dirty Creature on March 3, 2010 at 8:09 AM

What?

Marcus on March 3, 2010 at 9:02 AM

Dirty Creature, I think the blacks refer to it as “he’s not Hispanic, he’s ‘bright’ “. And they don’t mean smart.

Marcus on March 3, 2010 at 9:04 AM

Rangel is Hispanic, not black.

Dirty Creature on March 3, 2010 at 8:09 AM

Here’s the link to his Website.

Oldnuke on March 3, 2010 at 9:05 AM

Just now on ABC radio news they announced that Rep. Rangel is taking a leave of absence from Congress while under investigation. I wish that was true, one less vote for Obamacare.

Cindy Munford on March 3, 2010 at 9:05 AM

It’s a gift!

Asher on March 3, 2010 at 9:11 AM

No. Just stepping out of the limelight. He said he needed to get back to work on health care, so he’s staying in Washington at least until the choke-down is accomplished.

ROCnPhilly on March 3, 2010 at 9:11 AM

If there isn’t a vote, they can all claim that they would have voted yes for removal. What an easy out. As to Rangel, he now has the time to get his money spirited away to some Caribbean island.

Kissmygrits on March 3, 2010 at 9:14 AM

Breaking: Rangel to ‘Temporarily’ Step Down [Daniel Foster]

The Washington Post reports that embattled House Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel (D., N.Y.) is requesting a “leave of absence” from his post.

03/03 09:15 am

WaPo this morning.

Wethal on March 3, 2010 at 9:20 AM

Cindy Munford on March 3, 2010 at 9:05 AM

He will stay in Congress, but just take a leave from his chairmanship of Ways & Means Committee.

Wethal on March 3, 2010 at 9:21 AM

Allah

You need to use this photo of Charlie Rangel, for this post. This is Charlie assuming his new position :)

http://bellalu0.wordpress.com/2010/03/01/images-no-words-necessary/

Dr Evil on March 2, 2010 at 8:43 PM

Dr. Evil was right. This is where Charlie will be on his leave of absence.

Philly on March 3, 2010 at 9:22 AM

Old tax cheating congressmen never die, they just fade away, in a leave of absence to rent controlled apartment slumlording, and whatever else they can take when they think no one’s looking.

ontherocks on March 3, 2010 at 9:26 AM

Wethal on March 3, 2010 at 9:21 AM

I know, I went to investigate it immediately after the news report. Wishful thinking on my part but I knew it didn’t sound right. Hardly the first time the media got something wrong.

Cindy Munford on March 3, 2010 at 9:28 AM

He is a founding member of The Congressional Black Caucus and his bio says that he is the first African American to chair the House ways and means committee.

His bio lies. His father is Ralph Rangel , Sr. of Ponce, P.R.

Even if this were not known (which it is), all you’d have to do is look at his hair. What black ever had naturally glossy, straight black hair? Arabs do. Hispanics do. Indians do. So do Orientals. But blacks do not.

Maybe it’s a rug, you say? Then he’s been wearing one since he was a child.

Sorry. This man is Puerto Rican. It has always amazed me how many people think he’s black, just because he says so. It’s not like he’s lying about his religion, or something else that doesn’t meet the eye — his race shows. And yet when he lies about it, people believe him.

It’s a weird world.

Dirty Creature on March 3, 2010 at 9:32 AM

You’ll never see the end of this crook. Rangel is like a fungus . . . you can scrape it off but it will just grow back again.

rplat on March 3, 2010 at 9:42 AM

What?

Marcus on March 3, 2010 at 9:02 AM

Yeh…what?

russcote on March 3, 2010 at 9:56 AM

I’m going to really enjoy watching this scumbag go down. It will be a long, slow trainwreck and I’ll be sipping and smiling.

SurferDoc on March 3, 2010 at 10:05 AM

What?

Marcus on March 3, 2010 at 9:02 AM
Yeh…what?

russcote on March 3, 2010 at 9:56 AM

What?

Dirty Creature on March 3, 2010 at 10:25 AM

Sorry. This man is Puerto Rican.

Dirty Creature on March 3, 2010 at 9:32 AM

Puerto Rican is a nationality not a race. Being of Puerto Rican descent does not preclude being black. His bio states that his father was of Puerto Rican descent. You don’t mention his mother what was her ancestry? As far as I’m concerned he’s the same race as Randy (Duke) Cunningham, dirty politician. He just hasn’t been convicted yet.

Oldnuke on March 3, 2010 at 11:38 AM

Puerto Rican is a nationality not a race. Being of Puerto Rican descent does not preclude being black.

I didn’t say that NO Puerto Ricans are black, I said Charlie Rangel isn’t. Black has a meaning — it means of the Negroid race. There are specific morphological characteristics. Charlie Rangel doesn’t have them. He is no more negroid than a Persian or Subcontinental Indian who may be as dark-skinned or darker than, say, Magic Johnson.

He claimed to be because he wanted to represent Harlem, where he lived, and that’s what you’d have had to be to get elected there. But that didn’t make it true.

Dirty Creature on March 3, 2010 at 11:50 AM

As far as I’m concerned he’s the same race as Randy (Duke) Cunningham, dirty politician. He just hasn’t been convicted yet.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m with you on the above — I don’t care if he’s green with pink polka dots — he’s a crook. But he is a Puerto Rican crook. His father is Puerto Rican, his features are Puerto Rican. He is no more black than a Persian or Arab or subcontinental Indian, any of which could be as dark-skinned or darker than, say, Magic Johnson. Heck: I, who am Italian, was frequently darker skinned after several weeks in the sun, than many of the brothers in my dorm back in the day. Best laugh I ever had was when one of them one day held his arm out at me for comparison, put on a mock sneer, and… called me the n word. Both of us laughed for 10 minutes. Ah, for the days when jokes like that could go back and forth between friends without anyone calling anyone racist. It was a more innocent time, I guess, the age of Reagan…

Dirty Creature on March 3, 2010 at 12:14 PM

The Hill reports Stark’s getting the interim gavel.

One gets the feeling Nancy’s given up.

JEM on March 3, 2010 at 2:22 PM

The Hill reports Stark’s getting the interim gavel.

One gets the feeling Nancy’s given up.

JEM on March 3, 2010 at 2:22 PM

No – she wants to go out with Californicators at the helm.

steveegg on March 3, 2010 at 2:40 PM

steveegg – the problem is that Stark is going to be a one-man reality show. He’s gonna be an open-pit quote mine for the GOP.

And, while Nancy might feel good about having fellow Coastal Socialist Loons as committee chairs, that’s a hell of a whetstone on which grudges willl he honed elsewhere in the Caucus.

JEM on March 3, 2010 at 2:49 PM

Goodbye scum.

Coronagold on March 3, 2010 at 9:28 PM

No one embodies know-nothing progressivism as much Fortney Hillman “Pete” Stark. He always thinks he’s the smartest guy in the room and strikes out like Vicious Sid when challenged. An intellectualoid of the worst degree. Excellent selection Karl Nancy!

motionview on March 3, 2010 at 10:26 PM

AP, Awesome Rangel photo.

Mark30339 on March 4, 2010 at 11:59 AM

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