Image: Rep. Charles Rangel
Alex Wong  /  Getty Images file
Congressman Charles Rangel is being investigated by two House panels over fundraising, financial dealings and travel.
updated 9/4/2009 6:20:46 PM ET 2009-09-04T22:20:46

Rep. Charles Rangel's disclosure of previously unreported assets sparked a new Republican demand Friday for the House Ways and Means chairman to relinquish his post while his conduct is investigated.

"Set aside your gavel while the Ethics Committee works to resolve the questions that have been raised," House Republican Leader John Boehner of Ohio wrote Rangel, a New York Democrat.

Rangel's fundraising and his personal financial dealings are under investigation by one House ethics panel, and a second is investigating the travel of the New York Democrat and four other lawmakers to the Caribbean.

However, the inquiry on Rangel's financial dealings has not been expanded to include the Rangel's amended 2007 financial disclosure report, released by the House last month.

The major new asset listed was a credit union checking account valued between $250,000 and $500,000. Rangel also listed additional mutual fund investments, PepsiCo and Yum! Brands stock and three vacant lots in Glassboro, N.J.

Rangel gave no indication that he's stepping down.

Spokesman Elbert Garcia said in a statement last month that Rangel had promised to correct any mistakes in his financial disclosure and now has done so.

"Congressman Rangel is confident that his records have been subjected to an exhaustive and complete review, and that the amendments accurately reflect his financial interests," Garcia said.

He said Rangel would have no further comment on the investigations until the ethics committee completes its work.

Boehner's letter said, "The American people have every right to demand that their elected leaders be held to the highest possible standards of ethical conduct in every situation, regardless of a member's political party, personality, or past record."

"As chairman of the powerful House committee, entrusted with the responsibility of writing the tax laws that affect every law-abiding American citizen, you, along with the Speaker and other leaders of the majority party, have an obligation to help set the pace when it comes to standards of official conduct.

"By relinquishing the gavel voluntarily while the ethics panel does its work, you would demonstrate your respect for this obligation."

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