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Is DeLay Losing Support in House GOP Caucus?

Disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff's guilty plea this week seems to be having a spillover effect in the House, where more Republican members are urging new leadership elections that could depose Abramoff ally Tom DeLay (R-Texas) as majority leader.

It would take 50 Republican House members to force leadership elections when the House reconvenes later this month -- a move that would likely end DeLay's chances of reclaiming the post as majority leader.  While the 50-member threshold hasn't been met at this time, momentum now appears to be moving against DeLay.

As first reported by Hotline's On Call and soon after by Roll Call (subscription required) earlier today, Reps. Charlie Bass (R-N.H.) and Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) are circulating a petition to demand new leadership elections.  Fifty members of the Republican Conference must sign on in order for an actual vote to be scheduled. The duo of Bass and Flake could spell trouble for DeLay since they hail from disparate wings of the party. Bass is a leading voice among GOP moderates, while Flake is a member of the conference's most conservative wing. 

While it seems likely that moderate GOPers, long unhappy with DeLay's aggressive brand of conservatism, will support an effort to throw him overboard, it remains to be seen how many conservatives will join such an effort. DeLay has repeatedly made clear his intention to reclaim his leadership post once he clears his name in the Texas redistricting case.

Even as the tremors from the Bass-Flake petition were being felt on Capitol Hill, conservative Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.) created another layer of intrigue by not only calling for DeLay to permanently cede his post but also urging that Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) become the new majority leader. "He brings experience and proven ability to address problems," Kline said of Boehner. (For more on what the GOP leadership picture might look like sans DeLay, make sure to read the story in today's Post by Jonathan Weisman and Shalaigh Murray.

DeLay spokesman Kevin Madden insisted that his boss has no plans to step aside as majority leader -- either today or in the future. "Mr. DeLay appreciates that a majority of his colleagues recognize he remains committed to fulfilling his responsibilities as majority leader as soon as he is exonerated in Texas," said Madden.

By Chris Cillizza  |  January 6, 2006; 5:46 PM ET
Categories:  House  
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Next: Tom DeLay Steps Aside


By the way, re telling people to comment on DoD's website, don't bother. It's already been revealed in the Wash Post and elsewhere that they delete comments they don't like.

Posted by: PAC | January 8, 2006 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Your post is as far off the topic as could be, FairAndBalanced.

But fascinating. I can't help answering because I myself own a US Army Interceptor vest that I bought two years ago.

Spotting its weaknesses, I immediately reinforced it by adding small 5x8 inch British ceramic sideplates, and sewing on soft armour shoulder patches taken from a German frag vest. I also put two kevlar groin protectors over the upper arms.

That is exactly what the US military is now doing. So my military technology is two years ahead of the US Army. Ha ha.

Note to Republicans: I'm Canadian, by the way, and I'll be waiting when you invade to steal OUR oil.

Posted by: Paranoid Arms Collector | January 8, 2006 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Charlie Bass is not a moderate. Every Republican congressman who sold his soul to vote for Delay in leadership knew what he was getting - a right wing thug who would extort millions from K Street lobbyists.

Posted by: asbury | January 7, 2006 8:12 AM | Report abuse

This is a question,, not a comment. I think there is something called congressional immunity to protect members of Congress from being brought to court in a criminal case. I don't recollect this being used in any accusation of misconduct or criminal activities of the last decade or so. Does anyone know what kinds of cases it covers?

Posted by: btm1 | January 7, 2006 5:23 AM | Report abuse

If the redistricting in Texas was brought about in a felonious fashion, shouldn't it revert back to the original districting plan? These Republican crooks reminds me of the days of Tammany Hall. The Democrats should take heed that if they get back into power, the people are tired of crooks that make laws protecting other crooks and that graft and corruption will bring repercussions. It never fails to amaze me that people of color continue to support the obvious racist and ethically challenged
Republicans after all they have done to gut the basic and much needed social programs while taking the monies for those social programs and giving the monies to their rich cronies. I'm sure glad the Dixiecrats left the Democratic party for the Republican party, but the Democrats have enough crooks in their own party not to start crowing. They're just the lesser of two evils at this time till they get rid of their prejudiced members.

Posted by: Deuces | January 7, 2006 4:10 AM | Report abuse

DeLay is a dead duck - quit wasting time and space discussing him. He'll be lucky to hold his House seat.

Posted by: Peter L. | January 6, 2006 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Delay should be impeached. Dragged over the pavement on K-Street, and made to wear Jack Abramoff's black hat.

Posted by: ImpeachDelay | January 6, 2006 10:58 PM | Report abuse

This is off-topic but EVERY SINGLE CITIZEN has to know about this:

Extra Armor Could Have Saved Many Lives, Study Shows

"""""A secret Pentagon study has found that at least 80 percent of the marines who have been killed in Iraq from wounds to their upper body could have survived if they had extra body armor. That armor has been available since 2003 but until recently the Pentagon has largely declined to supply it to troops despite calls from the field for additional protection, according to military officials.


Marine officials said they have supplied troops with soft shoulder protection that can repel some shrapnel, but remain concerned that ceramic shoulder plates would be too restrictive. Similarly, they said they believe the chest and back plates are as large as they can be without unduly limiting the movement of troops."""""

PDF to the actual study:

There's yer proof that the top military brass (Rumsfeld) care more about their pseudo/imaginary "mission" than the ACTUAL LIVES of the troops. This neocon cabal literally cannot get any more insulting.

If you think this is ok, go ahead and vote for the GOP. If you find it somewhat troubling that our military brass has sent our bravest marines to die like lambs, then vote for the Dems or stay home in Nov.

It's that easy. For those of us who have protested this BULLS#$%T WAR since before Shock and Awe, we have to force the Dems' hand on this matter. ASAP. This CANNOT stand.

Go here:

click "Ask a Question/Make a Comment"

and dont forget your senators/congressmen + women.

Posted by: FairAndBalanced? | January 6, 2006 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Chris, your phrasing makes it sound like a sure thing that Delay will get off in the redistricting case. I beg to differ.

Posted by: Ronnie Earle | January 6, 2006 6:50 PM | Report abuse

Tom Delay broke the law and used corporate donations to steal extra seats in the house from American voters. He likely broke other laws in his dealings with "my dearest friend Jack Abramhoff". DeLay's so-called charity accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars and nearly none of it went to good works - it paid Delay and his wife, associates, friends, etc.

Tom DeLay is criminal scum and ALL of his associates that drank the koolaid are going down with him.

Finally, justice in the world.

Posted by: Reality | January 6, 2006 6:30 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe the head was phrased as a question. You mustve missed this:

"""The Hotline has learned from three House sources that at least two-dozen House GOPers spanning the ideological spectrum have agreed to sign a letter to House Conference Chair Deborah Pryce (R-OH) requesting new leadership elections in an effort to block Rep. Tom DeLay from reclaiming his post as Maj Leader."""

nuff said.

Posted by: FairAndBalanced? | January 6, 2006 6:19 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure he is, and if his legal problems don't end soon, he should give up any hopes of a leadership position.

Posted by: Crazy Politico | January 6, 2006 5:49 PM | Report abuse

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