Rangel, the dean of New York’s congressional delegation, appeared outside the 96th Street-Broadway subway station on the Upper West Side to discuss the federal stimulus package’s impact on city transit projects.
A media throng was itching to ask about the House ethics probe that has prompted Republicans to call for his ouster as Ways and Means chairman, but Rangel said he would not take questions on other subjects.
At one point, a passerby in a car yelled, “Charlie, pay your taxes!” Rangel appeared to wince.
He also seemed a bit rattled. He mistakenly referred to Gov. Paterson as Gov. Obama and to the Transport Workers Union of America, the TWU, as TWA, the defunct airline.
When the event ended, reporters chased Rangel through traffic, asking him about the growing Republican calls for him to give up the Ways and Means chairmanship.
One reporter asked specifically about Texas Republican Rep. John Carter’s intention to force a vote on a resolution requiring Rangel to step aside as chairman of the tax-writing committee.
Rangel replied, “I’m disappointed in him,” and then slammed his car door and left the scene.
Rangel’s troubles include failing to pay taxes on rental income from his vacation villa in the Dominican Republican and his failure to report assets totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars on his annual disclosure report.
Most recently, news surfaced that he failed to disclose a credit union account worth a hard-to-overlook $500,000.