Republicans still calling for vote to strip Rangel's gavel

House Republicans intend to seek a vote to force Rep. Rangel to step aside temporarily from his spot as Ways and Means Chairman, despite Rangel’s announcement to take a “leave of absence,” from that position.

An aide to GOP Rep. John Carter confirmed that the Texas lawmaker plans to offer the privileged resolution on Wednesday.


Republicans view the issue as a political winner, after Democrats came to power in 2006, largely on the promise of ending the “ethical cloud” and “culture of corruption,” under GOP rule.

Rep. Pete Sessions (Texas), who heads the House Republican’s campaign arm, told The Hill that his party would likely move the resolution regardless of Rangel’s intention to take a leave of absence, pending a sweeping ethics investigation into the New York Democrat’s tax practices and financial disclosure issues.

Sessions, the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), went further saying that Rangel “should step aside as a member of Congress.”

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) would not predict whether his party would push the resolution however.

At a press conference following the weekly closed-door GOP conference meeting, Boehner stated that he wanted to see the letter Rangel submitted to the Speaker and then talk to parliamentarians about taking a so-called “leave of absence.”

“There is nothing in the rules of the House that refers to temporarily stepping aside - either you are the chairman or you’re not,” Boehner said.