Representative Charles Rangel has been told tonight that he doesn’t have the votes to hang on to his position as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, the Daily News and other sources are reporting. Rangel was informed during meetings with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other party leaders that he will have to quit as chairman as soon as Wednesday, according to sources.
Rangel received an admonishment last week from the house for knowingly accepting trips to the Caribbean in 2007 and 2008, and the House ethics committee is investigating a series of more serious allegations against him.
A member of Congress for 39 years, Rangel made it clear he is not going to go down without a fight. On his way out of the meeting with party leaders tonight, he responded to a reporter’s asking if he was still chairman with the testy “You bet your life.” And would he be temporarily stepping aside? “No.”