With Ethics Under Scrutiny, Rangel At Times Gloomy And Defiant

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From the NY Times:

WASHINGTON — On the House floor during a debate over health care reform, he taunted a colleague who had been calling for his ouster. At a recent fund-raiser, he complained that the House speaker had made an end run around him and his committee. Confronted by a persistent conservative activist in a hallway, he let loose an expletive, telling the man to mind his own business.

There seems to be little joy in being Representative Charles B. Rangel these days.

As chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Mr. Rangel, the proud and normally irrepressible clubhouse Democrat from Harlem, holds one of the most powerful positions in Congress. But as an ethics investigation into his financial dealings continues, Mr. Rangel’s once-considerable clout is diminished and his spirits are often gloomy, friends and associates say, even as he begins to fight back.

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