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Congressman Rangel is the principal author of the five billion dollar Federal Empowerment Zone demonstration project to revitalize urban neighborhoods throughout America. He is also the author of the Low Income Housing Tax Credit, which is responsible for financing ninety percent of the affordable housing built in the U.S. in the last ten years. The Work Opportunity Tax Credit, which Congressman Rangel also championed, has provided thousands of jobs for underprivileged young people, veterans, and ex-offenders.
As the former chairman of the Select Committee on Narcotics Abuse and Control, Congressman Rangel continues to lead the nation's fight against drug abuse and trafficking. In his efforts to reduce the flow of drugs into the United States and to solve the nation's continuing drug abuse crisis, Congressman Rangel serves as chairman of the Congressional Narcotics Abuse and Control Caucus.
Congressman Rangel is a founding member and former chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus; he 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.
Congressman Rangel 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 has authored several pieces of legislation to benefit minority and women veterans, including a successful bill that established the Office of Minority Affairs Within the Department of Veterans Affairs.
In 1987, at the height of the battle against apartheid, Congressman Rangel led the effort to include in the Internal revenue Code one of the most effective anti-apartheid measures, denial of tax credits for taxes paid to South Africa . This measure resulted in several Fortune 500 companies leaving South Africa . In addition, Congressman Rangel played a vital role in restoring the democratic government in Haiti.
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 on November 3, 1970, and has been re-elected to each succeeding congress.
Congressman Rangel lives in Harlem with his wife Alma, who is a founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus Spouses and participates in many civic and community organizations. Congressman and Mr. Rangel have two children.