For Immediate Release: September 30, 2009
From the office of Representative John R. Carter (R-TX)
(WASHINGTON, DC) – A month after House Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel (D-NY) admitted failure to report nearly a million dollars in assets on federal disclosure forms, the lack of any action by the House Democratic Caucus on the new ethics violations or the continuing 15-month investigation of multiple ethics and tax violation charges against the man who oversees the Internal Revenue Service demands Rangel be removed.
Republican Conference Secretary John R. Carter (R-TX) says he will give Chairman Rangel until next week to voluntarily resign the chairmanship of Ways and Means, or he will introduce a Privileged Resolution to force his removal. “To allow Mr. Rangel to continue to serve as Chairman is the same as allowing a confessed bank robber to serve as Chairman of the Banking Committee during the trial.”
Carter, a former judge, says the lack of new enforcement action by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) or the Democratic Caucus demands Rangel relinquish the Chairmanship of the House Committee that oversees the IRS and the nation’s tax code. “The reputation and integrity of this body has suffered serious damage by the actions of the Chairman, and the inaction of the Speaker to meet her promise to make this the most honest and ethical House in history,” says Carter. “Mr. Rangel must step down as Chairman until these issues are resolved. If he refuses, the House must remove him by a recorded vote.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has blocked previous votes on Rangel’s chairmanship. Carter offered a privileged resolution to remove Rangel as Chairman in February, but Democrats under Pelosi voted to block consideration of the bill.
The Ethics Committee began investigation of Rangel on July 31, 2008. Pelosi publicly stated that the investigation would be complete before the end of 2008, but with the probe now well into its second year, the investigation has already been expanded twice to include new charges of tax and ethics violations by the Chairman.
“There remains the question of whether these latest disclosure violations may be coupled with similar tax reporting violations,” says Carter. “If so this case could bring further discredit to the House for its failure to act for months, and soon to be years on end.”
The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Buffalo News and numerous other publications have also called for Rangel to step down as Chairman of Ways and Means.