The ethics committee — five Democrats and five Republicans — has agreed to the recommendation of its chief counsel, voting that Rep. Charles Rangel be censured by the full House for 11 violations of House rules. The vote was 9-1.
Today's vote came after several hours of closed door deliberations. The full House vote is expected to come after Thanksgiving, but not before the New York Democrat, who is 80 and was first elected in 1970, will have to stand before his colleagues and listen to how he brought dishonor upon the House.
A censure is the strongest penalty that could have been issued short of expulsion. Rep. James Traficant, an Ohio Democrat, was expelled by the House for bribery and other crimes in 2002.
The last members of the House to be censured were Gerry Studds (D-Mass.) and Dan Crane (R-Ill.), who were punished in 1983 for sexual misconduct with underage congressional pages. Crane was defeated for re-election in 1984; Studds continued to win until he retired in 1996.
Rangel was easily elected to his 21st term earlier this month with about 80 percent of the vote.