Rep. Rangel and the Lobbyists

Politico covers Rep. Rangel’s ethics matters and their effect on lobbyists with business before the Ways and Means Committee.

Politico spoke with several lobbyists — all of whom requested anonymity as long as Rangel remains a powerful chairman — and a couple of experts to explain how Rangel’s troubles are playing on K Street.

Democrats next in line in seniority on Ways and Means — Reps. Pete Stark of California, Sander M. Levin of Michigan and Jim McDermott of Washington — are considered too liberal by many observers.

Some lobbyists speculate that Pelosi would tap Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), an African-American, to assure the Congressional Black Caucus there was no racial dimension to Rangel’s removal.

The panel’s fifth-ranking Democrat — Rep. Richard E. Neal of Massachusetts — is well-liked by the business community. But most business leaders would prefer to see Rangel remain in the top spot, rather than deal with the uncertainty of a fight over the chairmanship. “We’ve been able to work with Rangel,” said one Republican business lobbyist. “He has an open door with the business community, I think, for the most part, on most of our issues.”

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