The subcommittee that investigated the allegations against Rep. Charlie Rangel recommended a “reprimand” of the Harlem Democrat to the House Ethics Committee.
Reprimand is a lesser punishment than the other two punitive options before the ethics committee — censure or expulsion.
While the investigative committee made this recommendation the adjudicatory subcommittee that will try Rangel and the full House Ethics Committee will ultimately decide his punishment.
The last time a member of Congress was reprimanded was in 1997 when the ethics committee found that Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich violated tax laws and lied to the committee. Gingrich was fined $300,000 as part of the punishment, although there was no specification that the money would have to come from his personal funds rather than campaign contributions.