Ways and Means Committee to dedicate portrait of Rangel today
Rep. Charles Rangel may have been censured by his colleagues for gross ethics violations, but he's getting his very own portrait in the House Ways and Means committee room:
Rangel's office on Wednesday couldn't confirm how much the portrait cost nor how it was being paid for. A spokeswoman instead pointed a reporter to a 2007 Washington Post article that listed the cost of the artwork as $64,500 and that Rangel's lawyer had asked the Federal Election Commission if the congressman could use his campaign funds to pay for it.
The FEC sided with Rangel later that year, noting that the House generally commemorates committee chairs with portraits in their respective hearing rooms and that neither Rangel nor his family would financially profit from the payment of the portrait.
"The House Committee on Ways and Means will commission the portrait for donation to the U.S. House of Representatives," the FEC wrote in the advisory opinion. "Representative Rangel's principal campaign committee or the National Leadership PAC will pay for $64,500 for the cost of the portrait and will not solicit or receive funds to pay for the portrait."
Apparently, this portrait has been an issue dear to Rangel's heart. The Post wrote that the congressman consulted an art broker and considered eight portrait artists, and ultimately chose an elaborate option that included a "three-quarter body length size, important details and a custom frame."
The guest list includes both NY senators, Nancy Pelosi, Stenny Hoyer...and Speaker of the House, Republican John Boehner.