WASHINGTON – House Democrats killed a Republican move Thursday to censure the powerful Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., over news reports suggesting he took advantage of Manhattan rent-control rules.
House Majority Leader John Boehner took the resolution to the House floor Thursday. After he introduced the measure, Democrats offered a parliamentary procedure to kill it. That measure won on a party-line 254-138 vote, stopping the Republican motion in its tracks. Additionally, 34 House members opted out of recording an official position by voting "present."
Citing a list of complaints involving the apartment situation that, Republicans say, amount to wrongdoing on Rangel's part, the resolution says; "Representative Charles B. Rangel, has dishonored himself and brought discredit to the House and merits the censure of the House."
The censure resolution, if passed, would have been an official acknowledgement of wrong-doing, but wouldn't have imposed any sanctions against Rangel, who heads the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee.
Before the resolution was introduced, Rangel took time on the House floor to defend himself.
"There is no need, even for mean-spirited people in the (Republican) minority to say that I'm a discredit to the United States Congress," Rangel said. Rangel's remarks drew applause from the chamber floor from vocal Democrats, while Boehner's resolution drew boos.
In an extraordinary move last week, Rangel last week filed ethics charges against himself over the questions of his using Congressional stationary to help solicit donations from non-profits for a center for public affairs named in his honor at City College of New York, as well as his renting of four rent-controlled apartments, at least one of which appeared to violate city rules because it was not a primary residence. Rangel has since said he would give up that apartment.
In the censure resolution, House Republicans contended that Rangel's "acceptance of more than one rent-controlled apartment for his personal use is a violation of the House gift ban." It did not address the school academic center issue.
The House GOP says Rangel failed to disclose this on his financial disclosure reports, and that violates House rules.
FOX News' Chad Pergram contributed to this report.