Rangel denied reports that he would give up chairmanship

Jon Ward Contributor
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Democratic lawmaker Charlie Rangel denied reports Tuesday night that he would give up his coveted chairmanship of the House Ways and Means Committee following an ethics reproach last week.

In a chaotic scene, Rangel emerged from a meeting in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office and denied reports circulating on Twitter that he would step aside.

Rangel, a New York Democrat who was first elected to Congress in 1971, was asked if he was still chairman.

“You bet your life!” he said, according to the Hill.

However, NBC’s Chuck Todd reported that Rangel had been told by Pelosi that he does not have the support to survive a floor vote on Wednesday.

House sources contacted by The Daily Caller agreed with this assessment.

Rangel’s replacement would be either Rep. Pete Stark, California Democrat, or Rep. Sander Levin, Michigan Democrat, Todd reported.

Pelosi’s office declined to comment and a Rangel spokesman did not answer multiple calls and e-mails, and his cell phone voice mail was filled to capacity.

One Democratic leadership aide expressed uncertainty late Tuesday night at what Rangel’s status was, telling the Daily Caller that they could not get in touch with Rangel’s staff.

Rangel was censured by the House Ethics Committee last week, which found that he knowingly accepted trips to the Carribbean in 2007 and 2008 paid for by large corporations that regularly lobby Congress.