The House ethics committee recommended on Thursday by a vote of 9-1 that Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) be formally censured by the full House for 11 counts of violating ethics rules.A lighter punishment? Which would be what, only 20 weeks vacation a year? Only three rent-controlled apartments? Dinner with Pelosi?
The panel also ordered Rangel to pay restitution of any unpaid taxes.
"We have worked together in this matter in a way that actually has been quite wrenching and we're satisfied with our conclusion," said Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), the panel's chairwoman.
Short of expulsion, censure is the most serious sanction the ethics panel can recommend. Only 22 House members have been censured in the history of the chamber.
A majority of the full House would have to vote to censure Rangel or lawmakers could opt for a lighter punishment. That vote likely will wait until after the Thanksgiving recess.
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