Congressman Charlie Rangel Delivers for Us, So We Must Deliver for Him â€“ Support Congressman Rangel!
Â As chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Congressman Charles Rangel (D-NY), is one of the most powerful members of Congress; a fact that has not been lost on conservative Congressional Republicans. Threatened by Democratic dominance in both Houses of Congress and a Democratic President in the White House, Republicans have launched an all-out media campaign to remove the first African American Chairman of the powerful Committee.
The irony is that this is because Charlie Rangel stepped forward and did the right thing when allegations were made about his financial disclosure forms.Â Rangel himself hired a forensic accountant to review his reports, and made all the appropriate revisions of the report. Yet, Republican members have seized upon the allegations and are leading a campaign to short circuit the Ethics process and demand his immediate removal as Committee Chairman.
On October 14, 2009, Rep. John Carter (R-TX), House Republican Conference Secretary, issued a news release boasting that "editorial boards and writers are joining the call for Rangel to resign as Chairman until the constantly expanding ethics investigation is complete."
And yet, a Capitol Hill publication, Roll Call, reported on October 22 that Congressman Carter himself had "failed to disclose nearly $300,000 in profits from oil stock sales in 2006-07." In a follow up article on October 23, Politico, another Capitol Hill publication, reported that "House Republicans say they'll press on with their efforts to dethrone House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel-despite the fact that the Republican leading their charge now faces ethical issues of his own."
Then, on October 19, Politico ran a front-page story under the headline "GOP Sees Gain From Rangel Issue." The article said that Republican Minority Leader John "Boehner and other top Republicans don't want to make Rangel into a sympathetic figure and are sensitive to accusations from African Americans that there is a GOP campaign to remove him from power."
The recent news revelations about Congressman Carter's own ethical issues confirm the sheer hypocrisy and malicious intent of the GOP campaign to remove Chairman Rangel from power. And the campaign was begun before the Ethics Committee has concluded its investigation. Whatever happened to due process? It is obvious that House Republicans and the national Republican Party are desperate to avoid the electoral disaster's they've suffered in the last two elections as they went from a majority in the House of Representatives to their hard right base.Â Attacking Rangel, a key House player in getting healthcare reform through Congress, is an obvious ploy to derail the measure.Â The Republican plan is simple: Damage Rangel, derail healthcare and go on to reclaim the House in next year's election.Â
Congressman Rangel has established a distinguished record during his 20 terms of service in the House of Representatives, and he has been an effective chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee; working with both sides of the aisle to find solutions to such issues as health care reform, social security, simplification of the tax code, Medicare, and economic recovery. Under Rangel's leadership, the Ways and Means Committee, in fact, was the first committee in the US Congress to report out a comprehensive health reform bill.
Charlie Rangel should not and will not be railroaded.Â The House of Representatives has rules and a process that should be followed. Failure to follow those rules be unfair, and set a dangerous precedent. We urge all people of goodwill to write letters to the editors in response to the series of negative editorials, columns and articles appearing in the mainstream media, and to call in to radio and cable-TV talk shows to counter negative attacks by commentators and their listeners.