The House is expected to vote on the censure of Rep. Charlie Rangel on Thursday, subjecting the four-decade veteran to a humiliating public criticism on the House floor just two weeks after he was found guilty of 11 ethics violations, according to congressional aides.
Rangel has been lobbying for a lesser punishment, such as a reprimand, from the House in the weeks after the ethics committee determined he had violated a wide range of House ethics rules regarding his financial disclosures and fund raising practices. He has argued that he should be spared the harsh punishment because was not convicted of any criminal violations, and that the ethics committee attorneys have said he wasn’t “corrupt” in his practices.
But at this point there doesn’t seem to be a major movement to spare Rangel of the censure, which is the toughest form of congressional punishment outside of expulsion from the House.
Under the traditional censure procedures of the House, the lawmaker facing the punishment is supposed to stand in the well of the House chamber while the speaker reads the charges aloud. It’s meant to be a public humiliation for a lawmaker to be criticized this way in front of all his colleagues for violating House rules.