Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) will not step down from his position, the congressman said Tuesday.
Rangel, who sits atop one of the most powerful committees in the House, rejected calls to step down from his chairmanship pending the result of an ethics inquiry.
Rangel, following a meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on the Capitol, denied very preliminary reports Tuesday evening that he’d be stepping down.
When asked whether he is still chairman, Rangel said: “you bet your life!”
He then said Pelosi told him not to say “a damn thing” about the meeting.
Rangel’s ouster comes after the House Ethics Committee had issued a negative finding related to the longtime lawmaker’s resort trip funded by a corporate donor which was not disclosed.
House Republicans have sought to force Rangel to step aside from his chairmanship for months, and are set to offer a privileged resolution on Wednesday to force a vote on Rangel’s position. A number of centrist Democrats have indicated they might support such a measure, raising the prospect of a tough vote for House Democrats.
Pass the popcorn, as Todd is now tweeting:
More Rangel: He just told the press he’s still chairman RIGHT NOW of Ways and Means. But sources say he’ll agree to leave tmro
Rangel update: The Ways and Means gavel may end up in Pete Stark’s hands after all & NOT Sander Levin according to another leadership aide.
Pete Stark as Ways and Means chairman?
Update: Allahpundit asks one of his patented exit questions:
If 39 (or more) Dems are too terrified of the electoral consequences to stand by Uncle Charlie, how much more terrified must they be of standing behind O-Care? In which case, where is Pelosi getting the votes?
Update: Follow the links here for more Fun with Fortney.