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CHARLES RANGEL Printer Friendly Page

Overview of Rep. Charles Rangel's Voting Record 
By Discover The Networks
2009

Will Rangel Ever Step Down?
By Jim Brown
October 16, 2009

Rangel Is Robin Hood In Reverse
By Charles Hurt
October 4, 2009

Ways and Means Chairman: 'Illegal Aliens--I Mean They Do Get Health Care'
By Nicholas Ballasy
September 22, 2009

Rangel: The Most Corrupt Dem?
By Ross Kaminsky
September 17, 2009

Rep. Charles Rangel — Sign of the Times
By Victor Davis Hanson
September 10, 2009

For Dems, a Serious Charlie Rangel Problem
By Byron York
September 8, 2009

Will Rangel Wrangle Out of This One?
By Jim Brown
September 4, 2009

Joe Biden Gets 100% Pro-animal Rating
By Penny Starr
March 30, 2009

Beltway Arrogance and Blind Faith
By David Limbaugh
March 24, 2009

Pelosi Backs 90-Percent 'Bonus Tax' to 'Protect' Taxpayers From Executives
By Susan Jones
March 19, 2009

House Term Limits Repealed, Rangel to Retain Committee Chairmanship
By Sara Burrows
January 8, 2009

Black Conservatives Call for Rangel’s Removal as House Ways and Means Chairman
By Matt Hadro
December 2, 2008

Rangel Ethics Mess Feels Like History Repeating Itself
By Bishop Council Nedd II
October 8, 2008

"Disabling" Charlie Rangel
By Martha Zoller
September 24, 2008

Rangel Was Already Planning to Leave Rent-Controlled Office, Spokesman Says
By Fred Lucas
July 17, 2008

Rangel Sticks to His Tax-Hiking Guns
By Phil Kerpen
June 16, 2008

Rangel's "Awesome" Tax Plans
By George Will
January 3, 2008

Rangel's AMT Plan Would Hit Middle Class
By Amanda Carpenter
November 8, 2007

Rangel Tax Gaffe Could Give Republicans Huge Boost in 2008
By Donald Lambro
November 8, 2007

Congress Tricks and Treats Taxpayers, Watchdog Group Says
By Pete Winn
November 5, 2007

Mother of All Tax Gouges
By Tom Purcell
October 31, 2007

Count Rangula
By Cal Thomas
October 30, 2007

Pelosi-Rangel Really Is ‘Mother of all Tax Hikes’
By Rep. John Boehner
October 29, 2007

Taxpayers Will Balk at Rangel's Pitch
By Andrew Moylan
October 29, 2007

House GOP: Rangel Tax Bill 'Largest Tax Increase Ever'
By Monisha Bansal
October 26, 2007

Trillion-Dollar Baby
By Wall Street Journal
October 26, 2007

The Rangel Tax Bill: Roses Among the Thorns
By JD Foster, Ph.D.
October 26, 2007

The Mother of All Tax Hikes on Small Businesses
By Cesar Conda
October 26, 2007

Charlie Rangel’s Mixed-Bag Tax Plan
By John Tamny
October 26, 2007

Charlie Rangel Doesn't Get Real Men
By Julia Gorin
January 11, 2007

Rangel Kicks Cheney Out of Office
By Ivy J. Sellers
January 4, 2007

Responding to Rangel--X
By James Taranto
December 28, 2006

Reinstating the Military Draft
By Walter E. Williams
December 27, 2006

Responding to Rangel--IX
By James Taranto
December 26, 2006

Responding to Rangel--VIII
By James Taranto
December 15, 2006

Responding to Rangel--VII
By James Taranto
December 14, 2006

Responding to Rangel--VI
By James Taranto
December 13, 2006

Responding to Rangel--V
By James Taranto
December 12, 2006

Responding to Rangel--IV
By James Taranto
December 11, 2006

Democrat Would Draft Your Daughter
By Amanda B. Carpenter
December 4, 2006

Trying to "Rangel" Some Facts
By Rebecca Hagelin
December 1, 2006

Sorry, Charlie
By Rich Tucker
December 1, 2006

Responding to Rangel--III
By James Taranto
November 30, 2006

No Justification for a Military Draft
By Tim Kane
November 29, 2006

One Democrat's Deception
By W. Thomas Smith Jr.
November 29, 2006

Responding to Rangel--II
By James Taranto
November 29, 2006

Responding to Rangel
By James Taranto
November 28, 2006

Rangel Slurs the Military
By Charles Johnson
November 27, 2006

Charlie Rangel Kerrys the Troops
By Sonny Bunch
November 27, 2006

Botched Joke Watch
By James Taranto
November 27, 2006

With Friends Like Rangel, Pelosi Needs No Enemies
By Matt Towery
November 23, 2006

Dem Agenda: Draft Gays
By James Taranto
November 21, 2006

There's No Draftin' Here, Charlie
By Wesley Pruden
November 21, 2006

To Wrangle With Charlie Rangel
By Caspar Weinberger Jr.
November 21, 2006

Charlie Rangel Wants to Draft Your Daughter (And Your Mom, Too)
By Ben Johnson
November 20, 2006

Operation Homecoming
By Rebecca Hagelin
November 10, 2006

Pelosi's Left-Wing All Stars
By Patrick Poole
November 7, 2006

There’s No Security with Democrats
By Carrie Lukas
October 27, 2006

Charlie Rangel: The Man Who Would Write Our Tax Laws
By Human Events
October 16, 2006

President Bush Is 'Our Bull Connor,' Harlem's Rep. Charles Rangel Claims
By Meghan Clyne
September 23, 2005

The Castro Caucus
By Duncan Currie
May 12, 2005

Dems Need a Houseclean
By Deroy Murdock
January 6, 2003

In Castro’s Corner
By Jay Nordlinger
March 6, 2000

 


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Rangel's Visual Map
 

  • Longtime Democratic congressman from New York
  • Admirer of Fidel Castro and Communist Cuba
  • Commonly levies baseless charges of racism for political advantage
  • Helped to author the largest tax increase in American history
  • Was involved in income-tax scandal and real-estate corruption



Born in Harlem, New York in June 1930, Charles Rangel is a Democratic congressman who represents the 15th Congressional District of New York, located in upper Manhattan. He has served in the House of Representatives since 1971.

Rangel, who is black, has a long history of levying charges of racism against his political and ideological adversaries. For example, when the Republican-led Congress pushed for tax relief in 1994, Rangel denounced the plan as a form of modern-day racism. "It's not 'spic' or 'nigger' anymore," he raged. "[Instead,] they say, 'Let's cut taxes.'"

Similarly, when Republicans sought to reform a bloated and abused welfare system through budget cuts, Rangel remonstrated that the planned reforms were beneath even the standards of Nazi Germany: "Hitler wasn't even talking about doing these things," he insisted.

Racism is likewise Rangel's chosen explanation for the disproportionate number of blacks arrested for breaking drug laws, which he has condemned as "racist."

In 2001, while campaigning for Democratic mayoral candidate Fernando Ferrer in New York, Rangel suggested that racism would be to blame were the Hispanic Ferrer to lose to his white rivals in the party primary. Speaking before a Democratic audience, Rangel asked, "How do you feel our hurt when you go to apply for a job and you see three whites there and you know before the interview that you're not going to get it?"

When President George W. Bush announced a plan to partially privatize Social Security, Rangel charged that Republicans were seeking to shortchange "African American workers" by providing them with reduced benefits "based on their race."

In February 2005, Rangel proclaimed that it was inappropriate for Americans to characterize groups like Hezbollah as "Islamic terrorists." "To call it Islamic terror is discriminating, it's bigoted, it is not the right thing to say," Rangel declared.

Following the much-criticized federal response to Hurricane Katrina, a powerful storm that ravaged the Gulf coast in August 2005, Rangel attributed the delayed response to anti-black sentiment within the federal government: “If you're black in this country, and you're poor in this country, it's not an inconvenience -- it's a death sentence."

In the course of addressing the Congressional Black Caucus in September of 2005, Rangel, still exploiting the aftermath of Katrina, likened President Bush to Bull Connor, the Alabama police commissioner notorious for his racist opposition to the early civil-rights movement.

In May 2009, Rangel joined activist Al Sharpton in calling for a federal probe into a recent deadly shooting -- by a white New York City plainclothes police officer -- of a black plainclothes officer who was brandishing a weapon and chasing a criminal suspect on a Harlem street. Said Rangel: "If you become an officer and you have a pistol and you are of color, in or out of uniform, your chances of getting shot down by a police officer are a lot heavier than if you were not of color." The congressman again alluded to the shooting when a reporter asked him what President Barack Obama, who came to New York for a personal matter shortly after the incident, ought to do during his stay in the city. Rangel replied, “Make certain he doesn’t run around in East Harlem without identification.”

Rangel is an avowed admirer of the former Cuban President Fidel Castro. In April 1993, the congressman introduced legislation to repeal the Cuban Democracy Act of 1992, which ended U.S. assistance to the Castro government, and to lift the American embargo against Cuba. When Castro toured Harlem in October of 1995, Rangel greeted him with a bear hug at an event in a local church, where the congressman joined in a prolonged standing ovation for the visiting dictator.

Rangel is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus and the Progressive Caucus in the House of Representatives. For an overview of key votes he has cast during his legislative career, click here.

In January 2007 Rangel became chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, which writes the U.S. tax code. In October 2007, Rangel and this Committee unveiled a proposal for the single largest tax increase -- on all income strata -- in American history. Dubbed the “mother of all tax bills” by Rangel, the legislation not only contained $1.3 billion in new taxes, but it also called for the repeal of the major tax cuts that Congress had enacted in 2001 and 2003; all told, the bill would have resulted in a tax hike of $3.5 trillion.

In September 2008 the House Ethics Committee launched an investigation into Rangel's failure to report (and pay taxes on) $75,000 in rental income which he had earned from his beach property in the Dominican Republic. Moreover, Rangel owed back taxes for at least three years, and he was illegally renting four rent-subsidized apartments in New York City -- at less than half of their market value -- while claiming his Washington, DC home as his primary residence for tax purposes. Though Rangel's income was too high to legally qualify him for any rent-subsidized units, he nonetheless rented three adjacent 16th-floor apartments which combined to make up his 2,500-square-foot home in New York, as well as a fourth unit on the 10th floor of the same building, which served as his campaign office. State and city laws stipulated, however, that rent-subsized apartments could only be used as primary residences.

In December 2008, reporters learned that Rangel had paid $80,000 in campaign funds to an Internet company run by his son for the creation of the congressman's Political Action Committee website.

In August 2009, Newsmax.com reported that Rangel had "failed to report at least $500,000 in assets on his 2007 Congressional disclosure form." Newsmax added:

"[A]mong the dozen newly disclosed holdings revealed in the amended forms are a checking account at a federal credit union with a balance between $250,0000 and $500,000; three vacant lots in Glassboro, N.J., valued at a total of $1,000 to $15,000; and stock in PepsiCo worth between $15,000 and $50,000. The new [disclosure] forms report that Rangel’s total net worth is between $1,028,024 and $2,495,000 — about twice the amount listed in the original disclosure statement, filed in May 2008, which declared assets totaling between $516,015 and $1,316,000."

Rangel was also accused of:

  • taking a $1 million contribution to the Rangel Center at City College from a wealthy businessman whose company sybsequently received a lucrative tax break; and
  • accepting a Citigroup-funded trip to the Caribbean in November 2008, when the bank was in the midst of squandering much of the bailout money it had received from the federal government.

When "Hot Air TV" producer Jason Mattera asked Rangel, on hidden camera, to comment about his continuing tax issues, the congressman replied angrily, "Why don't you mind your own goddamn business?" 

On March 3, 2010, Rangel stepped down from his post as the Ways
and Means Committee chairman. The move, which Rangel said was "temporary," came after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told the congressman that he did not have enough votes to survive an expected Republican challenge to his chairmanship.

In April 2010, Rangel condemned Arizona's Republican governor, Jan Brewer, for having signed into law a bill deputizing state police to check with federal authorities on the immigration status of any individuals whom they had stopped for some legitimate reason, if the behavior or circumstances of those individuals led the officers to suspect that they might be in the United States illegally. Said Rangel: "The racism in this country is well known. Arizona has just pulled the sheets off of it."

On July 29, 2010, House investigators accused Rangel of 13 violations of congressional ethics standards, including, in addition to those listed above, such transgressions as:

  • use of congressional staff and stationery to raise money for the New York City college center named in his honor;
  • acceptance of favors and benefits from donors that may have influenced his votes in Congress; and
  • misuse of the congressional free mail privilege.

Said Rangel in response to the allegations: "Even though they are serious charges, I'm prepared to prove that the only thing I've ever had in my 50 years of public service is service. That's what I've done and if I've been overzealous providing that service, I can't make an excuse for the serious violations."

On the eve of Rangel's ethics trial in November 2010, it was reported that during 2009-10, the congressman had improperly used $393,000 from his National Leadership political-action committee to pay for his legal defense -- yet another breach of House ethics. Politicians typically use Leadership PACs to donate money to other candidates. According to the House Ethics Manual: "The only campaign funds that a member may use to pay for congressional expenses are funds of his or her principal campaign committee -- not the funds of a leadership PAC or a multicandidate committee."

Apart from the $393,000 in PAC funds, records show that Rangel used $1.4 million from his campaign coffers in 2009 and 2010 to pay the firm Zuckerman Spaeder, his main legal-defense team; plus $100,000 in 2009 to pay Lanny Davis' law firm; plus $147,577 for the Washington, DC-based attorney John Kern; plus $174,303 for Watkins, Meegan, Drury & Co., a firm that provides forensic accounting and legal services. These transactions were legally permissible.

On November 15, 2010, Rangel appeared before a House ethics subcommittee and tried to delay his trial, claiming that he could not afford to hire an attorney after having incurred nearly $2 million in legal fees during the previous two years. Having said that, Rangel walked out of the proceedings. The subcommittee nonetheless deliberated over the congressman's charges.

The next day, the ethics subcommittee convicted Rangel on 11 of the 13 counts against him, thereby setting the stage for a full ethics panel to hold a sanctions hearing, where it would recommend a punishment. Asked if he had any reaction to the subcommittee's decision, Rangel told reporters, "Nope, none." In an official statement, the congressman then denounced the ethics subcommittee's "unprecedented" decision, claiming that his "due process rights" had been violated since the ruling was issued in spite of the fact that Rangel had no legal representation and "was not even in the room" during the proceedings.

On November 18, 2010, the House ethics committee voted 9-1 in favor of censuring Rangel and requiring him to pay any unpaid taxes on unreported rental income from his vacation home in the Dominican Republic. "I was not trying to criminally hide anything from the IRS or from the Congress," said Rangel, explaining that he was guilty of nothing more than sloppy record-keeping.

On December 2, 2010, the full House of Representatives voted 333 to 79 in favor of censuring Rangel for financial misconduct, thereby making him the 23rd House member ever to be censured -- and the first since since 1983. The censure proceedings required Rangel to appear at the front of the chamber while Speaker Nancy Pelosi read the resolution. Short of expulsion, censure is the most severe punishment that the House can levy against a member.

Despite the censure, Rangel was able to defeat the Democrats who made a bid to take his House seat in 2012. In June of that year, Rangel won his District's Democratic primary by a margin of 45.7% to 39.1 over his closest opponent, Adriano Espaillat. A Dominican-American state senator, Espaillat had been expected to benefit from the District's newly redrawn boundaries which gave the area a much larger Latino population.

In August 2013, Rangel derided Tea Party members as "the same group we faced in the South [during the early civil-rights movement] with those white crackers and the dogs and the police" and a "fierce indifference to human life."

In an August 2013 interview on MSNBC, Rangel said:

“There is no reason why a young person should have to pay for college education, because who does it benefit except a nation? Who are we competing against? Not ourselves, but China and other industrialized countries, they decide what they need, and they provide the incentives. Here we don’t have nurses and doctors, and then when a person gets out of health school, I mean out of medical school, they can’t get the money to pay off their debt. It doesn’t make sense.”

On October 8, 2013, Rangel was one of eight members of Congress (all Democrats) who were arrested when they sat in the middle of Independence Avenue and blocked rush-hour traffic during an immigration rally on Washington’s National Mall. Though the Mall was, at that time, legally closed due to a so-called “government shutdown” that had gone into effect a week earlier, the National Parks Service allowed the demonstration to take place because of First Amendment protections. Consisting of more than 15,000 participants, the rally was intended to persuade Congress to pass legislation allowing illegal immigrants to apply for U.S. citizenship. Also arrested were U.S. Representatives Joseph Crowley, Keith Ellison, Al Green, Raul Grijalva, Luis Gutierrez, John Lewis, Charles Rangel, and Jan Schakowsky.

Rangel serves as an honorary president of Americans for Democratic Action, along with such notables as Barney Frank, John Lewis, Jim McDermott, and George McGovern.

 

 

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