Udall says Rangel should step down

Rep. Mark UdallMark Emery UdallDemocrats will win back the Senate majority in 2020, all thanks to President Trump Poll: Trump trails three Democrats by 10 points in Colorado The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and the new Israel-'squad' controversy MORE (D-Colo.) said Sunday that House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) should step down from his chairmanship while an ethics investigation takes place.

Questioned by host Tom Brokaw on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Udall initially cited the ethics process and demurred.

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When pressed, though, he said that it would be “helpful” if Rangel stepped down.

“I think it would be helpful if Charles Rangel stepped down,” Udall said. “But he’s served the country well. We need his expertise, and I know, whatever happens, Tom, he will do right by the country.”

Udall tempered his comments, praising Rangel for his military service in the Korean War and his knowledge of tax issues.

“The ethics process is unfolding. Congressman Rangel has called three different times for that to occur,” Udall said. “He’s been forthcoming. I think it’s his decision whether he steps down or not as chairman of the Ways and Means Committee.”

Udall is running against former Rep. Bob Schaffer (R-Colo.) for Colorado’s open Senate seat, and both appeared on the Sunday morning program as a part of the program’s Senate debate series.

Schaffer suggested Udall should have been more forceful in denouncing Rangel.

“If you’re a member of the House, and the head of your tax-writing committee admits he doesn’t pay taxes, you’ve got to have the courage to stand up and say he needs to go,” Schaffer said.

Schaffer’s campaign has also been calling for Udall to return the money he has received from Rangel. So far, few Democrats have bent to such pressure.

The House ethics committee on Wednesday announced an investigation after a series of questions arose about Rangel’s personal finances, real estate dealings and use of official resources.