Theodore's World: Charlie Rangel House Floor Speech - "I'm Not Going Away"

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August 11, 2010

Charlie Rangel House Floor Speech - "I'm Not Going Away"

Democrat Rep. Charlie Rangel told his colleauges that they might want to just “go away,” but declared to them, “I’m not going away,” in the face of 13 ethics charges.

Rangel also asked the House, “What are you going to do me…Are you going to expel me from this body?” He railed against the Ethics Committee for not giving him a fair hearing, and said, “I deserve and demand the right to be heard.” Rangel made it clear he would not resign, as many in his own party – and in the White House – wish he would do. “You’re not going to tell me to resign to make you feel comfortable.”

Rep. Rangel dares House to expel him

The Hill

Embattled Rep. Charles Rangel defended himself on the House floor Tuesday, daring members to expel him.

Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) maintained that he did not intentionally break any House rules and complained about the investigation and trial process conducted by the House ethics panel, which has brought 13 charges against him.

"It may be stupid, it may be negligent, but it's not corrupt," Rangel said in a meandering speech that lasted more than 30 minutes.

In professing his innocence of all charges, Rangel also invited the ethics panel and House to take its shot at expelling him.

"I'm not asking for leniency, I'm asking for exposure of the facts," Rangel said.
"If I can't get my dignity back here, then fire your best shot at getting me expelled," the 20-term lawmaker said.

Earlier in his speech, Rangel said, "I am not going away. I am here," triggering light applause from some lawmakers.

It takes two-thirds of the House to expel a member.

A Democratic lawmaker who requested anonymity said House Democratic leaders attempted to persuade Rangel not to deliver his speech. The Democratic source called Rangel's address a "train wreck."

The ethics committee nearly reached an agreement with Rangel for the House to reprimand him, but that deal fell apart last month.

"This has to stop sometime. It has to stop," Rangel said, pointing out he requested the ethics probe more than two years ago. "I deserve and demand the right to be heard."

Rangel noted that while other members will be at home this August trying to get reelected, he is facing a Sept. 14 primary with the schedule of his ethics trial still unclear. Polls show Rangel ahead in his primary — however, he indicated the ethics process will still be ongoing when he faces the voters next month.

Hundreds of House members flocked to the floor to hear Rangel. At the end of it, many Democrats applauded, and some of them rose to their feet.

The House broke off its recess to return to Washington on Tuesday to pass a $26 billion state-aid package. Legislators will return to their districts at the end of the day.

Many politically vulnerable Democrats would like the ethics controversies surrounding Rangel and fellow Congressional Black Caucus member Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) to fade away. Upcoming trials for both veteran lawmakers come at a bad time for Democrats; they could begin less than two months before an election in which Democrats are in danger of losing the House.

Rangel acknowledged those worries, but made it clear he would publicly fight the charges and not resign, which would save Democrats the distraction of a trial.

"I know a lot of you might want me to go away," Rangel said. "I am not going away ... I'm here."

That statement was likely directed at the 10 House Democrats who have publicly called on Rangel to step aside.

Rangel said he had been "losing a lot of sleep" over the charges.

"I'm prepared to say, I apologize for any embarrassment that I have caused," he added.

He said that he took the floor against the advice of his lawyers and some of his colleagues and friends.

"But hey, I'm in a position, hey, I'm 80 years old. All my life has been in public service," he said. "Don't leave me swinging in the wind until November."

Playing off the fact that the House returned from recess to approve emergency aid, Rangel asked, "What about me?"

Rangel recently expressed frustration with the president's remark that Rangel should end his career "with dignity," a statement that many viewed as pushing the former Ways and Means Committee chairman toward retirement or resignation.


Wild Thing's comment.........

My prediction?

Nothing will come of this. Maxine will walk too I could be wrong, it is just a guess.

Posted by Wild Thing at August 11, 2010 05:49 AM


You're not wrong.

Past history of these two,(Waters and Rangel) indicate nothing more than a slap on the wrist.

The fear of their own corruptions being exposed causes other members of Congress, to want incidents like this to disappear as quickly as possible.

Posted by: Sean at August 11, 2010 11:10 AM

You're not wrong.

Past history of these two,(Waters and Rangel) indicate nothing more than a slap on the wrist.

The fear of their own corruptions being exposed causes other members of Congress, to want incidents like this to disappear as quickly as possible.

Posted by: Sean at August 11, 2010 11:10 AM

Has anyone asked the Congressional White Caucus how they feel about this?

Posted by: Eddie (anti-Obama) at August 11, 2010 12:05 PM

I hope these trials discourage some Democrat voters in November. I also think they will probably only get wrist slaps.

Posted by: TomR, armed in Texas at August 11, 2010 01:23 PM

There's no way Democrats will expel Rangel. If they did, Blacks would stay home come November, ensuring a GOP takeover of Congress. Keeping control of congress is more important than a little thing called ethics or the law.

Posted by: BobF at August 11, 2010 03:35 PM

By the mid-1960s Adam Clayton Powell was being increasingly criticized for mismanagement of his House Committee budget, taking trips abroad at public expense including travel to his retreat on Bimini in the Bahamas and missing sittings of his own committee. He was also under attack in his district, where his refusal to pay a slander judgment made him subject to arrest.

Following allegations that Powell had misappropriated Committee funds for his personal use and other charges including evading a subpoena in New York and failing to appear on a post judgment hearing involving the slander case he lost, in January 1967 the House Democratic Caucus stripped Powell of his committee chairmanship.

The full House refused to seat him until completion of an investigation by the Judiciary Committee.

Powell urged his supporters to "keep the faith, baby" while the investigation went on. On March 1 the House voted 307 to 116 to exclude him. Powell said, "On this day, the day of March in my opinion, the end of the United States of America as the land of the free and the home of the brave."

Powell won the special election in April to fill the vacancy caused by his exclusion, but did not take his seat.

Now in 2010, history repeats itself with the successor to Adam Clayton Powell from Harlem with

good time Charlie Rangel

40 years of arrogance from what should be a public servant

40 years of self dealing

40 years of legislating laws and taxes for Americans, but that do not apply to himself,

40 years of elitist rule, exploitation and abuse of power,

40 years of self serving public service.

40 years of jail would be commensurate adjudication for "his service".

It will interesting to see what Harlem sends to Washington next.

The stars and stripes forever !

Posted by: Carlos at August 11, 2010 10:27 PM

Thank you everyone.

Yesssss Carlos I agree, stars and strips forever.

Posted by: Wild Thing at August 11, 2010 11:22 PM