Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Battle That's REALLY Shaping Up

Rangel's itching to evict Cheney


Harlem's newly powerful Rep. Charles Rangel wants to stick it to his White House nemesis Vice President Cheney - by taking over his spacious House office.
At the same time, the veteran congressman offered a limp olive branch to the vice president yesterday, saying he regretted publicly calling him an SOB last week.

"I take back saying that publicly. I should have reserved that for him when we were together privately," said Rangel. "Believe me, he would have understood."

Rangel (D-Harlem), poised to become the next chairman of the important House Ways and Means Committee, spoke of the need for bipartisanship with the Republicans, even as he continued his feud with Cheney.

"Mr. Cheney enjoys an office on the second floor on the House of Representatives that historically has been designated as the Ways and Means chairman," Rangel mused. "And, I've talked with [future Speaker of the House] Nancy Pelosi ... and I'm trying to find some way to be gentle as I restore the dignity of that office to the chair."

The White House declined to comment.

In the past, Rangel has branded the vice president a "draft dodger" and Cheney has predicted that Rangel would destroy the economy as head of the Ways and Means Committee.

Rangel, 76, will soon head the committee, which controls tax legislation and changes to Social Security and Medicaid.He shot down rumors that Democrats plan to raise taxes in 2010, when Republican-approved tax cuts will expire if they are not extended by Congress, and said that the country needs a bipartisan approach

"The American people have given the Democrats a great opportunity to provide leadership. I'm not certain they are in love with us, but one thing is certain is that they were not satisfied with the Republicans' leadership," said Rangel. "The only thing that is clear is that the way we can resolve these problems [the issues] is by working with the Republicans."

Originally published on November 9, 2006