Representative Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) has become the 23rd House member in the nation's history to be censured, after the House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted in favor of the formal reprimand on Dec. 2.
The chamber voted 333-79 to censure Rangel, a 40-year veteran of Congress, for financial misconduct. A House ethics committee recommended the censure last month after it had determined that Rangel was guilty of a number of violations, including failing to pay taxes, filing misleading financial statements, improperly seeking money from from corporate interests and setting up a campaign office in a subsidized New York apartment that was designated for residential use.
Following the vote, Rangel claimed that the punishment did not fit the crime.
"History would show that a different standard has been used in this case where I did not curse out the Speaker, I did not try to have sex with minors," Rangel said, quoted by The Associated Press. "I am at rest with myself, and I am convinced that when history of this has been written that people will recognize that the vote for censure was a very, very, very political vote."
Several members of the House — from both parties — believe that a formal reprimand was not severe enough, considering the violations Rangel committed. There is speculation about how long Rangel will remain in office and whether he will resign. According to The New York Times, several Democrats are eyeing his seat if he chooses to step down.