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Over the past few years ethics allegations have dogged Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y. In response to those allegations Rangel referred his own case to the House Ethics Committee. In the past month, Rangel has faced an ethics trial, where his own peers voted to recommend that the full House censure the 20 term lawmaker. This would be the first official censure of a member of Congress since 1983.
Rep. Rangel is planning to take to the floor to argue that his ethical failings fall short of corruption and criminal wrongdoing and, thus, should not be subject to a censure. Rangel would rather have the House vote to reprimand. A reprimand would include a written rebuke to Rangel, while a censure requires a verbal, public rebuke.