Thursday, November 18, 2010

House Ethics Committee: Censure for Charlie Rangel

The House Ethics Committee has voted 9-1 to recommend a censure for Representative Charlie Rangel. Earlier this week, the Ethics Committee found that Rangel committed 11 violations of House ethical rules. Rangel walked out of the proceedings on the first day, but he returned the following day and delivered a very dramatic speech.

It is highly likely that Rangel calculated that the House would not expel him. The Speaker of the House cannot refuse to sit a representative simply because the individual has committed ethical violations. The Constitution, however, permits expulsion of House members by a 2/3 vote.

Rangel successfully ran for reelection with the ethics charges pending. Rangel probably believed that if he won the election, he could escape the ethics proceedings with a punishment short of expulsion. The committee's recommendation that Rangel face a censure suggests that his gamble worked.

At least a majority of the full House can impose a censure. Now, only the voters in Rangel's district can "fire" him.


Hippi Chicki Niki said...

The things Rangel's daring (and other insanity from this past two years) has taught me that I totally missed in my Legislation class. I'll have to go through my bookcases and find that book. This time, thanks to you and the crazies in Congress (and the ones that tried to get there), it'll be a page turner!

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

LOL -- please don't associate me with the crazies (although thanks for reading). :)

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