“For the Republicans to have a debate for four hours on an amendment that may pass the House, has little chance of passing the Senate, and will never be signed into law, just to embarrass the president at a time when our country is feeling so much pain and joblessness and fear for the future,” he said. “What is the Congress doing?”
Rangel’s comments came just as the House G.O.P. was debating their own “Cut, Cap and Balance” plan that would have enacted deep spending cuts and just as six leaders in the Senate were meeting to determine their own deficit reduction plan–a move Rangel disapproved of as well.
“That doubles my embarrassment,” he said. “With 435 people being paid every day, and 100 in the Senate, and a half-dozen people believe they can resolve a problem when everybody down here has a different idea about what to do.”
Rangel repeated several times that Republicans in Washington are more committed to embarrassing Obama, and said that atmosphere was worse even than it was in 1995, during the Newt Gingrich-led government shutdown.
“You can’t compare the depth of the hatred and mean-spiritedness that has entered politics since then,” he said. “We should have spiritual leaders come in and talk to us. All we do is talk past each other and insult each other.”
Rangel was censured by the House last year after the House Ethics Committee found him guilty on 11 counts of misconduct. But recently doubt has been cast upon that ruling after it was revealed that two investigators with the committee had been secretly feeding information to the Republicans on the committee.
Rangel said he was gratified that the Ethics Committee’s misconduct had been revealed, and said that he was planning to run for re-election next year.
“I gear up every day. There is nothing I am doing this year that I don’t normally do,” he said. “That’s why my challenges have never been that serious.”
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