CBC Member Calls for Rangel's Ouster

UPDATED with Rangel & Pelosi responses

Rep. Artur Davis (D-AL), Tuesday became the first member of the Congressional Black Caucus to demand that House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charlie Rangel (D-NY) step down as Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

"Representative Rangel has had a long and distinguished career and I respect his leadership but I believe Congress needs to do more to restore the public trust," Davis said in a statement obtained by Fox. "An Ethics Committee admonishment is a serious event and Representative Rangel should do the right thing and step aside as Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee."

Davis went on to say that he "will consider returning the $1,000 contribution he made to my 2008 re-election campaign."

Davis is the first CBC member to call for Rangel's ouster.

Elected in 2002, Davis is running for governor of Alabama and will not run for re-election to the House this fall.

Although other CBC members disagreed with Davis about Rangel's future, several defended his position.

"Our caucus is just like any other caucus," said CBC member Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA). "We don't have 42 members in lockstep."

Fellow CBC member Elijah Cummings (D-MD) agreed.

"I think everyone is entitled to his opinion," Cummings said, who noted that "it's a little early" to relieve the Harlem Democrat of his chairmanship.

But not all CBC lawmakers were supportive of Davis, even if they disagreed with his call of Rangel to step aside.

"I think Mr. Davis ought to step aside," thundered CBC member Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL). "He ain't here much. And if he's speaking for anyone black, he ain't speaking for me."

Davis was not present for any of the three roll call votes the House cast Tuesday evening.

House Republicans are poised Wednesday to press a resolution that would require Rangel to step away from his perch atop the Ways and Means panel. But the Democratic leadership could delay a debate and a vote on that for at least 48 hours.

A senior House Democratic source familiar with the situation indicated to FOX that it was likely Democrats would try to put off the vote for two days.


Rangel says he won't step down. FOX News asked if he would still be chair on Wednesday,  he said that he was 79 years old and noted,"I don't lie to the press."

When asked if Rangel would still be chair on the Ethics Committee, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said "no comment."