Charlie Rangel’s district office went all of 2013 without paying rent, and it’s Republicans’ fault, apparently. The New York Democrat blamed his complete financial mismanagement — which resulted in the state bailing him out for at least $87,000 — on last year’s sequester.
“As everyone knows, the GOP sequester not only constrained our nation’s economy, but also strained the budget of congressional offices,” said a Rangel spokeswoman, according to the New York Post. The automatic spending cuts went in to effect on March 1 of last year.
The Post reports that Rangel owes up to 16 months of back rent, even though the state gave him a six-month reprieve as well as a significantly reduced rate, from $7,253 to $4,809 per month.
Rangel added that he wasn’t alone in falling behind in his rent, as fellow New York City Democrats Yvette Clark and Carolyn Maloney also failed to pay their rent.
“It’s not just my office,” he said. “It’s any office that had to take a cut that we didn’t ask for in our budget.”
Ultimately, Clarke and Maloney repaid their debt within six months, which Rangel has yet to do.
The new rent and conditions of the district office’s latest lease are awaiting approval from the House Rules Committee.