Rangel Censured

by Daniel Foster

The House has voted overwhelmingly to censure Rep. Charlie Rangel (D., N.Y.) for numerous ethics violations.

If censure is a symbolic punishment, it is given some measure of weight by its rarity. Rangel will become the first person to be so disciplined by the House since 1983, and one of only 22  in history. As part of the process, he will be made to stand in the well of the House while the Speaker reads aloud from the censure resolution.

UPDATE: The final vote was 333-79 in favor of censure. Speaker Pelosi took the gavel to read the charges, asking Rangel to “kindly” appear in the well of the House. In sober tones, she read the charges in just under a minute, referring to Rangel throughout as “the gentleman from New York.” 

Rangel then gave a brief speech, in which he expressed his belief that the vote against him wasn’t just determined by the consciences of the members, but of the “political tide.” He said that ultimately he believes he will not be judged by this Congress, but “by my life, my activity, my contributions to society.”

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