Calls for Rep. Rangel to give up his seat in the House are on the rise

July 31, 2010

By Shane D’Aprile -The Hill

The calls for Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) to resign are piling up as the congressman’s ethics trial threatens to loom large over campaign season.

The tally of House Democrats calling on Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) to resign his seat in Congress stood at eight as members adjourned for the August recess late Friday. That number includes Rep. Mike Arcuri (D-N.Y.), the first Democrat from Rangel’s home state to call for his ouster.

And so far, every House Democrat who has called for Rangel’s ouster faces a viable Republican challenger this fall.

The resignation calls began more than a week ago with Rep. Betty Sutton (D-Ohio), who heads back to her district with the recognition of being the first House Democrat to call on Rangel to resign.

After Sutton, most House Democrats held their fire throughout the course of the week leading up to Thursday’s ethics committee hearing. On Wednesday, Rep. Walt Minnick (D-Idaho), who represents one of the most conservative districts in the nation, became the second Democrat to call for Rangel’s resignation.

Minnick was followed by Reps. Patrick Murphy (D-Pa.), Ann Kirkpatrick (D-Ariz.), Mary Jo Kilroy (D-Ohio), John Yarmuth (D-Ky.) and Zack Space (D-Ohio).

“We’ve heard Charlie in the Ways and Means Committee, and he’s addressed these charges. He never denied they happened. He always has an explanation. You can excuse one or two, but not 13,” Yarmuth said in an interview with the Lousiville Courier-Journal.

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