Charles Rangel Ethics Issues Spell Trouble for Nancy Pelosi
Nancy Pelosi will be busy in the next few weeks trying to determine how do deal with the Charles Rangel ethics issues. In 2006, Nancy Pelosi jubilantly declared that she would lead the most ethical congress ever. However, Pelosi did not consider all the ethics issues that would be presented by Congressman Charles Rangel (D-NY).
The House Ethics Panel has been investigating Charles Rangel on several ethics issues for a long time. On Thursday, the Ethics Panel found Charles Rangel guilty of breaking house rules for several trips that he took to the Caribbean with other members of the Congressional Black Caucus. It seems that the trips were paid for by lobbyists, which is a violation of the ethics rules.
Charles Rangel gave a press conferrence late Thursday night where he blamed his staff members for allowing him to go on the trips.
The Charles Rangel ethics issues spell trouble for Nancy Pelosi as she faces a tough election year in the house. On one hand, Pelosi needs to keep the Democrat image pure helping house Democrats who may be facing stiff competition in November. On the other hand, she needs to keep the CBC happy by not removing Charles Rangel from his powerful position on the House Ways and Means committee.
Republicans will highlight any attempts by Nancy Pelosi to protect Charles Rangel if she opts to do so. Had Rangel been a Republican congressman, everybody knows the outrage that Pelosi and other Democrats would show.
The correct course of action for Pelosi would be to remove Rangel from his chairmanship. However, politics often overshadows the correct course of action.