HipHopWired Featured Video

After a more than two-year ethics investigation, Charles Rangel became the 23rd House member in the nation’s history to be censured for misconduct, Thursday (December 2).

The 80-year-old Democrat with four decades of congressional experience, remains a political leader in New York’s Harlem but his influence in the House took a huge hit with yesterday’s decision.

The House voted 333-79 to censure Rangel for failing to pay all his taxes, filing misleading financial statements, improperly seeking money from corporate interests for a college center bearing his name.

Rangel was also criticized for setting up a campaign office in a subsidized, New York apartment designated for residential use.

In the next Congress Republicans will be at the helm of the committee and there is little to no chance that Rangel will be the top Democrat.

Other senior lawmakers already had moved surpassed him in the committee’s Democratic hierarchy.

Speaking before the vote, Rangel admitted that he“ brought it on to myself.”

Following the decision, Rangel addressed the House saying, “at no time has it ever entered my mind to enrich myself or to do violence to the honesty that’s expected of all of us in this House.”

Censure is a procedure for publicly reprimanding a public official for inappropriate behavior.

When censured, the member must give up any committee chairs they hold, but they do not lose their elected position.

In many cases it is nothing more than a warning with reputational consequences.

“I am at rest with myself, and I am convinced that when history of this has been written that people will recognize that the vote for censure was a very, very, very political vote,” says Rangel.