This week, Maria Hinojosa talks to Rep. Charles Rangel, the soon-to-be Chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, about the Democrats plans over the next two years, the war in Iraq and why he's eyeing Dick Cheney's office.
"The president probably got the drift that the American people are fed up. And when the Americans are not behind a war, you can bet your life they're going to change the course."
"Our agenda is diametrically opposed, really, to what the Republicans are talking about. Our agenda is education, and health care, decent wages, protecting the environment."
"Once they find out that we [the United States] lost our arrogance and we're willing to work with them, I'm confident that the good nations and civil nations and democratic nations of the world are able to overcome a handful of disorganized terrorists."
"The Vice President is just a mean old man and I don't pay too much attention to him ...
What does he know? You have never read anything where he has been involved in improving the economy of this country, whether were talking about jobs, taxes, revenue, training. If you were to ask somebody 'what's the first thing that comes to your mind when it comes to the vice president?' And it would be anger, war and going hunting with your friends."
"There have been so many Republicans going to jail and having their reunions that I really haven't been paying any attention to the rumors surrounding Senator Reid."
"How many Obama's and Hispanics and women are really out there and only have to get a little break, or push the door open a little bit to get on center stage and then the whole light is on them and they say 'wow you should be president of the United States.'
About Charles Rangel
Congressman Charles B. Rangel is the soon-to-be Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee. Rangel was just elected to his nineteenth term as the Representative from the 15th Congressional District in New York City.
He is the Ranking Member of the Committee on Ways and Means, Chairman of the Board of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Dean of the New York State Congressional Delegation. Congressman Rangel serves as chairman of the Congressional Narcotics Abuse and Control Caucus.
A founding member and former chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, Congressman Rangel was also chairman of the New York State Council of Black Elected Democrats and was a member of the House Judiciary Committee during the hearings on the articles of impeachment of President Richard Nixon. He served in the U.S. Army from 1948-52, during which time he fought in Korea and was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star.
Congressman Rangel is a graduate of New York University and St. John's University School of Law. He has spent his entire career in public service, first as an Assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, and later in the New York State Assembly. He was elected to the 92nd Congress in November 1970, and has been re-elected to each succeeding Congress.
The Congressman lives in Harlem with his wife Alma. They have two children.