Pelosi mum on Rangle

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi led an outdoor political rally at the Capitol Tuesday advocating women’s health provisions in health care reform packages.

Though the gathering was billed as a news conference, Ms. Pelosi wasn’t taking any questions.  After trumpeting the benefits of health care reform for women, she made a quick exit toward the Capitol doors.  The San Francisco congresswoman remained tight-lipped as reporters walked beside her asking questions.

One of the key questions Ms. Pelosi chose not to answer: Why should Rep. Charles Rangel keep his chairmanship of the Ways and Means committee?

Ms. Pelosi dodged the question even as Mr. Rangel promises to be at the center of a bill this week asking for the congressman to resign his chairmanship of the Ways and Means Committee. 

Ms. Pelosi and House Democrats previously blocked two similar resolutions, including one in February.

Rep. John Carter R-TX intends to offer the resolution citing a 15-month-long Ethics Committee investigation into several tax violation charges against Mr. Rangel. As chairman of Ways and Means, Mr. Rangle oversees the Internal Revenue Service. 

Many in Washington find Mr. Rangel’s position as chairman of the committee troubling as even more ethics violation allegations stack against the congressman.

Mr. Rangel has been in the news for all the wrong reasons over the past two years:

Sept. 2 2009: Failed to disclose millions of dollars in income and assets

Dec. 16 2008: Took at least two corporate-funded trips.

Nov. 5 2008: Agreed to preserve a tax break that would benefit a supporter who on the same day pledged to give $1 million to Rangel’s ‘Monument to Me’.

Sept. 5 2008: Failure to report $75,000 in rental income on federal and state tax returns.

July 15, 2008: Used official congressional letterhead to solicit support for his ‘Monument to Me’. 

July 11, 2008: Rented four rent-stabilized apartments.

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