Despite his oft repeated assertions to the contrary, Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., will be charged by the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct for as yet unspecified violations of congressional ethics rules.
…in a letter dated May 13, Edward T. Cloonan, the highest-ranking A.I.G. official who attended the fund-raising meeting with Mr. Rangel, wrote to the congressman asking him to support the extension of a tax provision designed to help American-based multinational companies lower their obligation to the I.R.S., which was set to expire. Mr. Rangel, who had announced plans to add an array of “tax extenders” to an energy bill he was preparing to introduce that month, opposed extending the specific measure Mr. Cloonan and A.I.G. were lobbying for.
The measure, known as the “subpart F active financing exception,” would benefit a broad coalition of American companies, including hundreds of financial services firms, and according to estimates by the nonpartisan Joint Taxation Committee would cost the Treasury $3.97 billion in revenue in 2009 and 2010. A.I.G., which Congressional records indicate spent more than $9.5 million on lobbying in 2008, had its own lobbyists and three outside firms pushing to extend the measure.
By early May 2008, concern about the damage that American businesses would suffer if the tax break was allowed to expire had grown so great that Democrats on the Ways and Means Committee held two meetings to ask Mr. Rangel to extend it.
Representative Joseph Crowley, a Democrat from Queens, said he pressed the issue because it helped Citigroup, a major employer in his district. At least two committee caucus meetings to discuss many aspects of the legislation followed — on May 7 and May 13 — and Mr. Rangel relented, Mr. Crowley said, and agreed to extend the measure for one year.
The ethics committee did not specify which charges it would file against Rangel.