Rep. Clarke’s statement on Rep. Rangel’s Censure Vote
Today, Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke released the following statement in regards to the House of Representatives taking up a vote to censure Congressman Charles B. Rangel:
“Today, the House of Representatives took a vote on a resolution to censure Rep. Charles B. Rangel after the House Ethics Committee found him in violation of 11 counts of violating the House Rules of Conduct. After a thorough consideration of all the charges and the recommendation from the Committee, I decided not to vote in support of censuring Congressman Rangel.
“Congressman Rangel has publically taken full responsibility for his conduct over the years that violated House Rules. However, as it stands with Rep. Rangel, the Committee did not find any proof of corruption, criminal wrongdoing, or acting for personal gain. His violations were primarily a result of improper, bad and inaccurate recordkeeping in regards to his financial affairs. While these are serious offenses to House Rules, Rep. Rangel’s actions are not consistent with the precedents in which Members of Congress have been censured.
“The precedent of censure used by the House Ethics Committee has been raised to the level of such offenses as improper sexual misconduct, were convicted in a court of law, or presented false statements to the Standard of Official Conduct Committee. Censure has been used exactly four times in the last 100 years because it is a severe penalty. It is not an appropriate penalty in the case of Rep. Rangel. I believe that Rep. Rangel should have been considered for a less charge that would be appropriate to his violations. This is precisely why I voted yes for a resolution offered by Rep. G.K Butterfield, which substituted a penalty of reprimand for that of censure. I strongly believe that his punishment over exceed his offense.
“Congressman Rangel has been vocal in taking responsibility of his actions and has taken steps to rectify the faulty financial disclosure paper work or any other the violations. I strongly believe that Congressman Rangel’s service to our nation and his district will remain in history for years to come. I am confident that despite the circumstances, he will continue to be an effective legislator.”