Nearly 20 months after relinquishing his House Ways and Means gavel amid an investigation that led to censure for breaking 11 House ethics rules, Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., is to be honored on Thursday with the unveiling of his official portrait as a past chairman of the tax-code-writing panel.
The current committee chairman, David Camp, R-Mich., will moderate the event, according to an announcement. It makes no mention of any potential awkwardness surrounding a celebration for a lawmaker who only 10 months ago became the first House member since 1983 to be censured by his peers.
Also expected to attend and make remarks are House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo.
Lawmakers typically commission and find funding for their official portraits on their own.
The artist was identified as Simmie Knox, whose other work has included portraits of former President Bill Clinton and Supreme Court justices.
No details of the cost of Rangel’s portrait, or how it was ultimately paid for, were immediately available, either from the committee or Rangel’s office.
A Rangel aide on Thursday did provide a news account dating from August 2007—only months after he had assumed the Ways and Means chair—of Rangel then already making inquiries of the Federal Election Commission about whether he could use campaign money or money from his political action committee to pay for his chairman’s portrait.
The spokeswoman, Hannah Kim, said on Thursday, “The campaign paid for it—Mr. Rangel didn’t want it to be paid by taxpayers.” As for what Rangel is saying about his portrait, she said he is waiting to speak about it at the event.
The unveiling ceremony is set for 4 p.m. in the Ways and Means Hearing Room in the Longworth House Office Building.
In December, Rangel became the 23rd member of the House to be censured by his peers, his colleagues voting to do so in a 333-70 vote.
The chamber approved the Ethics Committee’s condemnation of him on 11 House rules transgressions that included unpaid taxes, undisclosed financial assets, and inappropriate fundraising for a New York City college from corporations with business before the Ways and Means Committee.