There seems to have been a lot of confusion on whether or not Charlie Rangel stepped down from Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. It was first reported by NBC that he did step down. Then Politico reported that Rangel emerged from a meeting with Nancy Pelosi and said this:
Charlie Rangel emerged from a closed-door meeting in Nancy Pelosi’s office Tuesday night to declare that he’s still the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee and hasn’t agreed to give up his gavel – even as some media outlets were reporting that he’d done just that.
But asked whether he’d still be the chairman tomorrow and in the coming days, Rangel said: “I can’t make all those promises at my age.”
And when Pelosi was asked whether Rangel was resigning, she said “no comment.”
As late as Monday evening, the New York Democrat seemed to be surviving his latest ethical challenges. But the tide turned against him quickly, and by Tuesday night, at least 14 Democrats had said that Rangel should go. Democratic leaders expect more to come, and the Capitol is braced for Rangel to lose his gavel one way or another – by force or voluntarily, temporarily or permanently.
“The dam broke today,” said a senior Democratic aide.
I think we can safely say that the clock is ticking for Rangel. One of the 14 Democrats saying Rangel should go is a member of the Congressional Black Caucus (Artur Davis). With a chip in the “Black Shield” Rangel’s biggest defense against his fellow Democrats is gone.
Allahpundit makes the connection between these Democrats asking for Rangel’s ouster and ObamaCare having a rough road ahead. I agree, it looks like Democrats are looking out for their individual skins and are not going to collectively jump off the cliff for ObamaCare. If I had to bet, I would say Nancy did not do herself any favors with her Sunday interview.