Charlie Rangel has served continuously in the House of Representatives since 1971. He has had a few challenges along the way. There was the question of using Congressional letterhead to raise money for the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service at City College of New York, the question of receiving unusually low rents on his four Harlem apartments, failure to pay taxes on income from his Dominican home, along with unreported assets and other challenges.
In March of 2010, Charlie Rangel temporarily stepped down from his chairmanship of the ethics committee because of the charges against him (rightwinggranny.com). There was no talk of him leaving Congress, it was simply an embarrassment to the Democrats to have him as chairman of the ethics committee.
Now, fast forward four years. Roll Call is reporting today that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi became the first member of leadership on either side of the aisle to call for Rep. Michael G. Grimm’s ouster from Congress. Michael Grimm has been charged with felony tax evasion. I guess Representative Grimm is simply not as good at making up excuses as Representative Rangel was.
I am not endorsing tax fraud, but even a quick glance at Representative Rangel’s tax history causes one to wonder why he is still on Congress. Representative Rangel only had to step down from his chairmanship of the ethics committee while he was under investigation. It seems to me that Representative Rangel and Representative Grimm should either both be asked to resign from Congress or they both should be allowed to stay. I really don’t think anything else makes any sense.