Charles Rangel Takes a "Leave of Absence" from Chairmanship

It went back and forth there for a while, but it looks like they got Charlie Rangel.

After some tergiversations over the past day or two, Rangel announced today he would take a "leave of absence" from his chairmanship of the House Ways and Means Committee.

Rangel had been admonished by a House ethics panel for taking trips that were sponsored by the Carib News Foundation, which had sponsorship deals with corporations having business before Congress.

Rangel says he'll continue to fight for the President's health care bill and jobs bill in his capacity as a House member on temporary leave of absence from his powerful committee chairmanship.

Rangel said he'd offered to step down "from the very beginning," but did not say whether he meant the beginning of the Carib investigation, or the investigations of his real estate holdings or of his personal finances, both of which are still pending.

They're talking about Levin of Michigan or Stark of California to take over in Rangel's absence.

Rangel's been fighting this stuff since 2008. When asked today if he would return to the post, he said, "You bet your life."

A little rich for our blood. We'll remember the good times, Charlie.


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