The House ethics committee on Thursday expanded its investigation of Rep. Charles Rangel to include his belated financial disclosure of hundreds of thousands of dollars in previously unreported assets and income.
The expansion only increases the political burden that the Ways and Means Committee chairman from Harlem places on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who refuses to make him step down from his post.
Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer have said they would take no action while the ethics investigation of the New York Democrat is under way, but the inquiry has dragged on for a year and expanded several times while it pushes closer to the 2010 election year.
Republicans have forced House votes three times, the latest this week, on removing Rangel from his tax-writing position. While Democrats easily defeated each attempt, the issue has allowed Republicans to ridicule Pelosi's refrain that Democrats would drain the swamp of ethical misconduct that previously plagued Republicans.
The committee said it would now investigate whether Rangel broke House rules "with respect to all financial disclosure statements and all amendments filed in calendar year 2009" as required under the Ethics In Government Act.
The law requires annual financial reports filed by all members of Congress showing ranges of assets and income.
Rangel's revisions showed assets and income from 2002 through 2006 that should have been reported in those earlier years.
The fact that liberals like Maxine Waters are so willing to go out of their way to defend a complete incompetent like Charles Rangel reminds you of how much change we really need come 2010.