The House has voted overwhelmingly to censure veteran Rep. Charles Rangel for financial misconduct.
The Associated Press reports that the resolution passed with a vote of 333 to 79 on Thursday. This is the harshest penalty that could be leveled against Charles, a democrat from Harlem, short of expelling him from the House of Representatives.
Yahoo! News reports that Charles had asked the House to go with a reprimand instead of censuring him for 11 ethics violations. A reprimand can be delivered in a letter or in private, which is considered a much lighter punishment.
Whether a politician is punished by censure or reprimand, though, they do not lose their title or eligibility to vote.
Charles was contrite as he stood before his peers while Nancy Pelosi announced that Congress had decided to censure him. He apologized for putting his peers in such a difficult and embarrassing position. “I brought it on to myself,” he said.
Still Charles seems optimistic that this censure would not harm his legacy.
“In my heart, I truly feel good,” Charles said. “A lot of it has to do with the fact that I know in my heart that I am not going to be judge by this congress, but I am going to be judged by my life.”
– Sonya Eskridge