Hot Air » Blog Archive » Rangel to keep gavel in most ethical Congress evah
When campaigning in 2006, Nancy Pelosi said that a vote for Democratic control of Congress would bring the “most ethical Congress ever.” Now that one of their leadership has been caught violating ethics rules about accepting travel from lobbyists — precisely the kind of scandal Pelosi exploited in 2006 in the Jack Abramoff debacle — what does she plan to do about it? Er … nothing:
The House ethics committee decision to admonish Rangel for taking two corporate-sponsored trips to the Caribbean has turned up the heat on the powerful Ways and Means Committee chairman — with even House Speaker Nancy Pelosi saying that Rangel’s actions don’t pass the “smell test.”
Several House Democrats have now joined Republicans in calling for Rangel to lose his gavel, and The New York Times has chimed in, saying the “arrogance” Rangel showed in the wake of Thursday’s ethics committee ruling provides “one more reason” for Pelosi to “stop protecting him and relieve him of his crucial role as chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.”
In an interview with ABC’s “This Week,” Pelosi acknowledged that “what Mr. Rangel has been admonished for is not good.”
But the speaker also said that Rangel’s participation in the corporate-sponsored trips wasn’t something that had “jeopardized our country in any way,” and she made it clear that she has no intention of taking away Rangel’s chairmanship unless and until the ethics committee determines that he’s guilty of a number of ethics violations it’s currently investigating.
“Well, let’s … why don’t we just give him a chance to hear what the independent, bipartisan [ethics committee says] — they work very hard to reach their conclusions, and we … obviously, there’s more to come here,” Pelosi said.
That’s an interesting standard. Did Abramoff’s corruption “jeopardize the country”? Abramoff represented Indian interests (and his reach extended to several Democrats, including Harry Reid). Yet Pelosi was among the loudest calling for resignations and prosecutions, and effectively used the scandals in her “culture of corruption” campaign in 2006.