Rangel: I’ve Asked For ‘Leave Of Absence’ As Ways And Means Chair

Less than a week after the ethics panel found he violated House rules by taking corporate-funded junkets to the Caribbean, Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) announced this morning that he has asked Nancy Pelosi for a “leave of absence” from his duties as chair of the Ways and Means Committee, pending completion of various ethics investigations.

Rangel took no questions from the press, but added that “from the very beginning I have offered this to Speaker Pelosi.”The move came just hours before Rangel was expected to face a GOP-sponsored resolution calling for him to give up the the committee chairmanship. Multiple Dems had signaled their support of that effort.

Just last night, after a private meeting with Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Rangel told the press he would stay chair of the committee.

It’s not yet clear who will replace Rangel at the helm of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee. The most senior Dems on the panel behind Rangel are Reps. Pete Stark (D-CA) and Sander Levin (D-MI).

Rangel still faces multiple outstanding probes from the ethics committee, which is looking into the congressman’s financial disclosures, among other issues.

You can read TPMmuckraker’s full rundown of those investigations here.

Late Update: You can read Rangel’s letter to Pelosi here.

Separately, Politico is reporting that Stark will take the helm of the Ways and Means Committee.