In an lopsided vote of 333-79, the House handed down its most severe form of punishment short of expulsion to one of the most liberal members of the House.
The Democrat Majority could have easily reduced the penalty to "reprimand" but that was considered unwise in view of the results of the last congressional election. "That would have been political suicide" Speaker Pelosi, D-CA, told us.
Rangel is a 40-year veteran of the House, and is only the 23rd lawmaker to be censured in the history of the House
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-CA, read the censure proclamation, while Rangel stood in the well of the House and received it without showing any emotion. Rangel was censured for all 13 counts, the most notable being his failure to pay taxes on income, and his accepting improper payments from lobbyists.
There was some speculation that President Barack Hussein Obama, D-Kenya, might pardon him, but an informed source pointed out that censure is not a criminal offense. "It's pretty much just a fancy way to slap someone's wrist" he told us. "It really means nothing."
|"I never knew I had to pay taxes"|
“I am fully aware that this vote reflects the political tide and .... the constituency of this body,” he said. “I know in my heart that I'm not going to be judged by this Congress ... but by my life, my activities and my contributions to society.
“I just want all of you to know that in my heart that I truly feel good,” he added, repeating his oft-used refrain, “Compared to where I have been, I have never had a bad day since.”
Several members of the Congressional Black Caucus and other senior allies formed a line to offer hugs after he spoke. Rangel smiled and laughed as he greeted them.