GOP takes aim at Rangel’s ‘monument to me’

Two House GOP foes of earmarks want to prevent any more federal funds from being directed to the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service at the City College of New York.

Republican Reps. John Campbell (Calif.) and Jeff FlakeJeffrey (Jeff) Lane FlakeLindsey Graham basks in the impeachment spotlight Kelly, McSally virtually tied in Arizona Senate race: poll The Hill's 12:30 Report — Presented by Nareit — White House cheers Republicans for storming impeachment hearing MORE (Ariz.) said they would look to strike any future earmarks to the education center, dubbed by the GOP as Rangel’s “monument to me.”

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“Last year, 316 members of Congress voted against our amendment to stop an earmark for Charlie Rangel’s ‘monument to me,’ ” Campbell said in a statement. “The question now remains whether these members will continue to enable Rangel’s bad behavior.”

Rangel has secured three earmarks totaling more than $2.6 million to build the center, which will include a library, archives and memorabilia from Rangel's life, a conference center and offices for Rangel and the college's visiting scholars.

Earmark opponents thought Rangel had secured just one $1.95 million earmark for the center in the 2008 omnibus appropriations bill. However, The Washington Post reported Tuesday that Rangel directed two other earmarks to the pet project and that he was soliciting donations to the center from prominent executives with business before his committee. The omnibus bill also contained $245,000 for “planning, design, construction, renovation, and build-out of a multipurpose educational facility,” and the 2006 transportation spending bill included $450,000 for center’s “planning, design and construction.”

Rangel acknowledged Tuesday that he may have violated House ethics rules when he used congressional stationery to solicit the donations.

Campbell offered an amendment last year to strike the $1.95 million earmark, but the House voted 316-108 to keep it.