Speaker of the House Pelosi called back the House of Representatives from August recess for a day to pass another mega spending bill that will produce more bad than good in our economy. She and the Democrats, however, billed it as helping America's teachers and 'the children'. That is a smoke screen, but predictable justification for such a stunt. What Speaker Pelosi didn't anticipate was Rep Charlie Rangel (D-NY) coming to the podium and exercising his right to addressing the House on his own behalf.
Let the good times roll.
It was a rambling, tinged with arrogance and humility all rolled together, kind of speech to his fellow House members. It was not his finest moment. It was, however, his right to address the allegations against him and his right to demand action.
As The Observer starts off: Embattled Congressman Charlie Rangel just took a moment of personal privilege on the House floor during the debate over aid to the states to address his colleagues about the charges he is facing.
Rangel was an equal opportunity scolder: He told his fellow party members, "I was the guy that was raising money in Republican districts to get you here," but added, "I mean, do what you have to do."
And for his colleagues across the aisle, he said. "And Republicans. You don't have much to run on, but I mean, what the hell, Rangel is an embarrassment based on newspaper articles. I can see why you would do it."
The New York Daily News reports: In his floor speech, Rangel charged that the ethics committee had yet to give him a firm date for the start of the "accusatory" hearing that would amount to a trial on the charges against him.
"Don't leave me swinging in the wind until November," Rangel said
And, Rangel is right. The House Ethics Committee has looked into Rangel's ethical 'challenges' for over two years now. It is well past time to get the show on the road. He has now been accused and deserves to have his trial. The Committee is at fault for letting it go until just before an election. It is not the fault of Rangel, who now faces the wrath of his fellow Democrats for bringing the bad press into the mid-term elections when Democrats are expected to take a beating anyway.
Rangel stepped down from the powerful slot of chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. He has maintained a relatively low key public presence as the news hit of the accusations brought against him. Let him answer the charges that he is corrupt.
Rangel stated in no uncertain words that he is not going anywhere in the meantime. He is not resigning. He is not admitting guilt. He is who he is.
You can watch the video of Rangel's speech here: http://dailyradar.com/beltwayblips/video/charlie-rangel-house-floor-speech/?vpc=1