Despite these pending ethics charges, Charlie Rangel, D-NY, won re-election this month with more than 80% of the vote. This is a great example of why voters in the rest of the country are getting tired of the status quo.
How can a 20-term veteran of the House of Representatives make moves that a crooked freshman wouldn't even consider?
Charlie Rangel, D-NY, has been in Washington D.C. for more than 40 years. He probably wrote, or at least voted to approve, most of the rules he violated.
Of the 13 counts against him, the House Ethics Panel has announced that there is no material question as to whether the acts occurred. In fact, he was found guilty on 11 of those counts and now faces a rare public ethics trial in the House of Representatives.
Many in the case saw no personal benefit for Rangel, though he did raise funds to get a building named after him at a college in New York. That seems like some degree of personal benefit. His sloppy bookkeeping and tax returns certainly didn't cost him extra money.
Before they rendered their decision, Rangel cautioned the committee to remember that he has been in public service for more than 50 years. I wish Rangel had remembered that before he committed those 11 acts.
Despite these pending charges, Rangel won re-election this month with more than 80% of the vote. This is a great example of why voters in the rest of the country are getting tired of the status quo.
I hate national health care ... for everyone else
Dr. Andy Harris made sure Maryland voters knew he was against national health care. Of course, his Democratic opponent had also voted twice against the national health care bill. But Harris was even more against the plan; that, along with the tea party conservative wave, carried Harris into office.
After making his way to Washington D.C., Harris seems to think more of national health care –– at least for himself.
"He stood up and asked the two ladies who were answering questions why it had to take so long, what he would do without 28 days of health care," said a congressional staffer present at the benefits information session attended by 250 freshman, staff and family members. "Harris then asked if he could purchase insurance from the government to cover the gap."
It's almost like he thinks health care is a right. Maybe the tea party gang can develop some sort of healthcare reform bill.
Harris, an anesthesiologist turned legislator who worked at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, also told the crowd, "This is the only employer I've ever worked for where you don't get coverage the first day you are employed."
His spokeswoman said his statements at the meeting were merely intended to highlight the ineptitude of government health coverage.
That's the problem.
There are millions of Americans who don't have the same benefits plan offered to them that a doctor at Johns Hopkins might. That was the intent of the health care legislation that this over-privileged, out-of-touch, new breed of Congressman just doesn't get. They talk all day about theory but have no grip on reality.
Trust me, the waiter who served Harris' lunch, the janitor at the hospital where he worked and the cart mechanic at his country club probably have no access to health care. If they do, it certainly doesn't start on “day one.”
During his congressional campaign, Harris vowed to "fight to repeal health care reform."
There are portions of the bill that are over-reaching and should be repaired or repealed. But this pejoratively titled ‘Obamacare’ was an attempt at humanitarian legislation that got hijacked by medical PACs and suffered from poor timing during a distressed economy.
It is possible that Harris was speaking with his tongue in his cheek. But whether as an honest question or as a satirical remark, the display shows a man who exemplifies what is wrong with Congress –– and he hasn't even taken the oath of office yet.
Representation isn't limited to people who donated the max amount to your campaign. Legislation affects the rich and poor alike.
Obamacare is flawed in many ways, but at least there was some attempt to treat people in the middle class and below as humans worthy of receiving a reasonable level of health care.
Harris needs to be careful when he climbs on that high horse; the dismount can be a doozy.