Right now, the House Ethics Committee is deciding how to punish longtime member Rep. Charles Rangel (D-Harlem) for his ethics violations, which include his multiple rent-stabilized apartments, attempts to get donations for a City College school being named after him and various financial problems. Rangel issued a statement this morning, saying, "The Committee has not met its burden of proof in presenting clear and convincing evidence that Charlie Rangel has deviated from his sense of duty to this Body and this great country," but adding, "I hope my four decades of service merit a sanction that is in keeping with and no greater than House precedents and also contains a drop of fairness and mercy."

The House Ethics Committee Counsel R. Blake Chisam just "recommended that Mr. Rangel be censured, a stronger punishment than a reprimand but well short of expulsion," according to City Room, which is liveblogging the punishment proceedings. (It's been expected that Rangel might get a lighter punishment of "reprimand.") After the Ethics Committee recommends a punishment, the House will vote on it.