Congressman Charles B. Rangel is serving his 16th term as representative from the 15th Congressional District, comprising East and Central Harlem, the Upper West Side, and Washington Heights/Inwood.
Rangel is the ranking member of the House Ways and Means Committee, Deputy Democratic Whip, a co-chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and dean of the New York state congressional delegation.
Rangel is a member of the Trade Subcommittee of the Ways and Means Committee, which has jurisdiction over all international trade agreements. The congressman pays particular attention to trade with the Caribbean and Africa, and the development of international trade in Upper Manhattan.
Rangel is the principal author of the $5 billion Federal Empowerment Zone demonstration project to revitalize urban neighborhoods throughout America. He is also the author of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, which is responsible for financing 90 percent of the affordable housing built in the U.S. in the last 10 years. The Work Opportunity Tax Credit, which Congressman Rangel also championed, has provided thousands of jobs for underprivileged young people, veterans, and ex-offenders.
As the former chairman of the Select Committee on Narcotics Abuse and Control, Rangel continues to lead the nation's fight against drug abuse and trafficking. In his efforts to reduce the flow of drugs into the United States and to solve the nation's continuing drug abuse crisis, Rangel serves as chairman of the Congressional Narcotics Abuse and Control Caucus.
Rangel is a founding member and former chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus; he was also chairman of the New York State Council of Black Elected Democrats and was a member of the House Judiciary Committee during the hearings on the articles of impeachment of President Richard Nixon.
Rangel has authored several pieces of legislation to benefit minority and women veterans, including a successful bill that established the Office of Minority Affairs within the Department of Veterans Affairs.
In 1987, at the height of the battle against apartheid, Congressman Rangel led the effort to include in the Internal Revenue Code one of the most effective anti-apartheid measures, denial of tax credits for taxes paid to South Africa. This measure resulted in several Fortune 500 companies leaving South Africa. In addition, Congressman Rangel played a vital role in restoring the democratic government in Haiti.
Rangel has spent his entire career in public service, first as an assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, and later on the New York State Assembly. He entered Congress in 1971.
Rangel served in the U.S. Army in Korea between 1948-52, for which he was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star. He is a graduate of New York University and St. John's University School of Law.
Congressman Rangel lives in Harlem with his wife Alma. They have two children.