U.S. House Ways and Means Committee Chairman, Charlie Rangel, is a politician on life support. The Ways and Means Committee is the tax writing committee, responsible for our tax code and overseeing the IRS. And the Chairman is under an Ethics Committee investigation for cheating on his taxes.
The Ethics Committee has announced that it has expanded its investigation into Rangel. This came on the heels of a resolution in the House seeking Rangel’s removal as Chairman of Ways and Means until the investigation is concluded. Not surprisingly, that resolution was turned down on a 246-153 vote. Two Democrats voted with all Republicans to remove Rangel. It’s pretty unlikely that they’ll get a campaign contribution from Rangel any time soon, but it is Rangel’s fundraising prowess and his huge contributions to fellow Democrats that likely kept more Democrats from voting for the resolution.
Speaker Pelosi’s refusal to remove Rangel as Chairman will only hurt the image of Congressional Democrats and will likely be used against any vulnerable Democrat who has taken contributions from Rangel’s campaign committee or PAC.
I predict that the patience of rank and file Democrats is going to wear thin and they are going to start to grouse that they need this millstone removed from their neck. I suspect Rangel won’t be Chairman by next fall.