The House GOP wants New York Rep. Charles Rangel to step down from his chairmanship of the Ways and Means Committee.
GOP aides say they have been working on the draft for weeks — long before Rep. Joe Wilson bellowed “You lie!” and earned his own resolution of disapproval.
But part of the motivation, I’m told, was payback at the Democratic leadership for forcing through what many Rs thought was a mean-spirited attempt to spank the South Carolina Republican, even after he personally apologized to President Obama.
Rep. John Carter (R-Texas) has announced he’s introducing an anti-Rangel “privileged resolution” — one that theoretically must be voted on the floor. But the Dems, as they have done in the past, could head it off by blocking it with a procedural vote that shields members from voting about one of their own.
Carter’s press release was written with a certain get-out-of-town-by-midnight flair befitting the ex-judge that he is:
Carter “says he will give Chairman Rangel until next week to voluntarily resign the chairmanship of Ways and Means, or he will introduce a privileged resolution to force his removal,” writes a spokesman.
“To allow Mr. Rangel to continue to serve as chairman is the same as allowing a confessed bank robber to serve as chairman of the Banking Committee during the trial,” Carter said.
A Rangel spokesman says the chairman intends to stay put until the ethics committee completes its deliberations:
“Congress has a comprehensive, bipartisan process for reviewing any allegations made against a member —the House ethics committee. ... Any action to prejudge the outcome of that bipartisan process would unfairly undermine the work of the Ethics Committee.”
Be it resolved: Grayson is ‘unhinged’
Another Dem bad boy, another Republican resolution.
The GOP is now planning a resolution wrist-slapping Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) for saying that anti-health care reform Rs want people “to die quickly.”
Grayson — who is in an iffy district — has only said he’d apologize to “the dead” and likened the failure to enact health care reform to the Holocaust.
“This is an unstable man who has come unhinged. The depths to which Alan Grayson will sink to defend his indefensible comments know no bounds,” said Andy Sere, a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee.
Death becomes them?
It turns out some Republicans have made Graysonian statements.
In July, Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite (R-Fla.) said, “Last week, Democrats released a health care bill which essentially said to America’s seniors: Drop dead.”
Around the same time, Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.), a doctor, reviewed the public health insurance option in July and diagnosed that it is “gonna kill people.”
Neugebauer undergoing prostate cancer surgery
Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-Texas) is undergoing surgery today for prostate cancer and says his prognosis is good.
“During a routine annual physical, doctors determined that my [prostate-specific antigen] levels were slightly elevated. A subsequent biopsy in August showed that I have an early and very treatable stage of prostate cancer,” the 59-year-old west Texas congressman wrote in an e-mail.
“After carefully weighing treatment options with doctors and family, I decided on surgery to remove my prostate. Following today’s surgery, I am expected to make a complete recovery. I will remain in the hospital for a couple of days and then will recuperate at and work from my residence in Washington, D.C, until I return to the office. Because I am being treated in the Washington, D.C., area, the impact on my work in Congress will be minimal.”
Rahm: Insurers not ‘Switzerland’ in reform war
Karen Ignagni, CEO of America’s Health Insurance Plans, which represents many of the big insurance companies, was on National Public Radio this morning touting the fact that her group hasn’t carpet-bombed the airwaves with anti-reform ads as they did in the ’90s.
“It’s different than what we did in ’93 and ’94,” she told Mara Liasson. “The inconvenient fact here is, associated with the rhetoric, in particular, has been our members support reform.”
Echoing his boss’s attack on the industry, White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel was skeptical.
“Unlike other sectors, they haven’t fully invested in the reform, but they have not been the biggest-funded opponents of health care reform, either,” he said.
“I wouldn’t exactly call them Switzerland in this deal.”