This Charlie Rangel “Monument to Me” project was partially funded though US Government grants, directed by the Ways and Means Committee Chairman:
The $3 million cash infusion is going to an existing academic department, rather than to the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service at CCNY, a $30 million project that will immortalize Rangel’s name and house his papers when he retires. Rangel had previously arranged $2 million in taxpayer funds for the center.
The latest piece of congressional pork is to fund research into new composite materials that could be used to protect Army trucks from attack. The grant is tucked into the massive Defense Appropriations Bill moving through Congress.
Word of the funding comes as the House is set to vote today on a Republican-backed resolution to strip Rangel of his Ways and Means Committee chair pending an ethics investigation, after revelations that he didn’t disclose income on multiple properties, as well as failure to pay taxes and other issues.
The Pentagon doesn’t want the research money, but Rangel got the funding anyway by getting the Appropriations Committee to direct the cash to CCNY.
Rangel sought the earmark in a single-paragraph memo disclosed by the Defense Appropriations subcommittee, seeking funds to “create a high-performance multi-threat vehicle armor” to protect against explosives.
“Developing lighter-weight armor for military vehicles will ultimately save lives and lessen horrific injuries to troops caused by road-side bombs,” Rangel said in a statement. “I couldn’t be more proud of CCNY’s involvement in this partnership with DoD and the private sector. . . . This has nothing to do with the Rangel Center.”
This Earmark is just wrong on so many levels. Even if it is totally legit, with all of the questions about Rangel’s ethics, the fact that he would do this now indicates is disregard for his constituents. More important is the fact that this is not new funds, this comes out of the defense budget. Charlie Rangel took $3 million dollars of money the defense department needed for something else, and used it as a reward for a school that houses his famous vanity project.