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U.S. House votes to censure Rangel

Bryan Alaspa's picture

The United States House of Representatives voted, today, to censure New York representative Charlie Rangel. Rangel was, at one time, one of the most powerful men in Congress, but had been found guilty of violating numerous House ethics.

The vote was not even close to reprimand Rangel rather than the harsher censure. The vote was 333-79 in favor of censure. Censure requires the Representative to stand in the well of the House as a formal censure resolution is read aloud by the House Speaker. It is the punishment just below expulsion from the House.

Please for reprimand

Before the vote was taken Rangel took a few moments to plea that the House reprimand him rather than censure him. A reprimand is a step below censure and would not have required him to stand in front of the House while the censure resolution was read aloud.

A House committee actually voted that censure was the likely course of action back on November 18. At that time they also voted that Rangel pay restitution for any unpaid taxes. The rules of the House say that its findings must then be put to a House vote, which is what happened today.

Rangel was, at one time, the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee which is the part of the House that writes the taxes. Rangel had been accused of a number of ethics violations, which he owned up to but insisted he had never used his office for “self-enrichment.”

Rangel now goes down in history as being the 23rd member of the House to be censures in its history. There have been nine cases of Representatives being reprimande

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