Monument to Me

Posted: Jul 24, 2007 3:52 PM

On Thursday night, I offered an amendment to strike a $2 million earmark offered by Congressman Charlie Rangel (D-NY) to establish a center for public policy at the City College of New York.

My problem with the earmark? The center is named after Rangel.

That’s right, the distinguished Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee wants $2 million of your money to establish the Charles B. Rangel Center for Public Service. The funding this earmark would go to would include, among other things, a library to house the Congressman’s future papers, a “well-furnished office” for him, and an endowment.

As Brit Hume put it, “he wants us to pay for a building named in his honor.”

The earmark violates the spirit, if not actual House Rules (Rule XXI, Clause 6) which says, “It shall not be in order to consider a bill, joint resolution, amendment, or conference report that provides for the designation or re-designation of a public work in honor of an individual then serving as a Member, Delegate, Resident Commissioner, or Senator.”

I asked the Chairman if it would be proper for me to request an earmark for the “John Campbell School of Fiscal Responsibility.” He said no “because i don't think you have been around enough to inspire a building like this in a school.”

That’s OK, I don’t really want one. I just don't believe that we should use the power and authority we have while in office to use taxpayer funds to create monuments to ourselves.

Last year, we had the “bridge to nowhere,” I guess this year it’s the “monument to me.”

Click below to see my exchange with Chairman Rangel:

Watch video.