DNC chairman laments Rangel stealing spotlight from state-aid bill

"I'm sorry that it took attention away from what I think was a very, very positive vote," Kaine told MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

As the House on Tuesday prepared to debate the state-aid bill, Rangel took to the floor and offered an extended profession of his innocence regarding the 13 charges of ethical wrongdoing that have been leveled against him.

In what became a somewhat rambling tirade, Rangel said the inquiry had created a financial strain on him and urged his colleagues not to allow the ethics committee to delay hearing his case.  

"I'm 80 years old," he said. "I don't want to die before the hearing.

"Don't leave me swinging in the wind until November," he added. 

Rangel has been charged with a series of ethical violations, from mishandling political contributions to omitting income on tax disclosure forms. 

One charge against him is for failing to disclose income earned from a rental unit in the Dominican Republic. Rangel contends that after paying taxes to the island, and given depreciation, there was no tax liability. 

"There's no — not one scintilla bit of evidence that the negligence involved in the disclosure, that there was some way to hide from the public of what I did," he said.

The speech also challenged members.

"If I can't get my dignity back here [on the chamber floor], then fire your best shot of getting rid of me through expulsion," Rangel said. "I'm not going away."

The event overshadowed a vote on legislation that was supposed to highlight how Democrats were working to create jobs in a sluggish economy.  

The state-aid bill provides $10 billion for education funding and $16 billion for Medicaid.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) contends the legislation's provisions will save or create 319,000 jobs, including positions for teachers, police officers and firefighters.