Censure, then Dinner and Back to Work
Rangel argued that in none of the offenses did he think that he was enriching himself or doing “violence to the honesty that’s expected of all of us in [the] House.” He spoke of having thought back to his infantry days during the Korean War -- the sub-zero temperatures, the fighting, and his leading 40 men to safety. He spoke of his wondering if he would survive to return home. He spoke of the casualties.
My cousin served in Korea. One of the only times I ever heard him mention his being there was to say he and his military brothers had to use urine to cool whatever kind of guns they where shooting.
When he returned home, he didn’t break the law.
Rangel said: “I tell you that story not for sympathy, but to let you know that at that time in every sense, I made up my mind that I could never complain to God for any event that occurred in my life." And he shouldn’t -- God allowed him to return home, and blessed him to be able to serve others. Instead, he used his position and blessings to loot, extort, and pillage.
After all the theater, pleas, and indignation, the vote for censure passed 333-79 with 23 not voting.
After that, what happened? What was the terrible fate that awaited him?
A somber, ashen-faced Nancy Pelosi read the following:
House Resolution 1737 would resolve that: Representative Charles B. Rangel of New York be censured. Representative Charles B. Rangel forthwith present himself in the well of the House for pronouncement of censure. Representative Charles B. Rangel be censured with the public reading of this resolution by the Speaker -- and representative Rangel pay restitution to the appropriate taxing authorities or the U.S. Treasury for any unpaid estimated tax so outlined in Exhibit 066 on income received from his property in the Dominican Republic and provide proof of payment to the Committee.
That was it, and back to work.