Monday, December 12, 2005

Our Interests Delayed For DeLay

Dennis Hastert and other top Republican house brass are planning to hold the House in recess for an additional two weeks in January in order to give Tom DeLay more time to clear his indictment in Texas. This is two weeks longer than the rest of congress. This move is in order to try to save DeLays top seat in the House Republican leadership from?... other Republicans. Not Democrats, not lefists, not the ACLU, not little green men, but other Republicans.

Yes, that is right. The government will not be fully functioning for an additional two weeks for the one and only reason of forestalling Republican leadership elections. It is not being shut down due to budget disputes. It is not being shut down to protest or to give members more time in their home districts. It is not even being shut down for an extra two weeks to save on heating bills. It is being shut down to save a leadership seat for a man who has been admonished three times by the House ethics committee, has been indicted in Texas, and is tied to Jack Abramoff in connection with quid-pro-quo transactions.

This just goes to show how far out of whack the GOP leadership is. There are many decent GOP Congressmen, but none of them sit in leadership seats. This is absolutely outrageous behavior. If there is anything that shows that the 1994 Republican revolution needs to come to an end, it is when the GOP shuts up shop due to its own infighting.

House leaders giving DeLay time to reclaim post

By Scott Shepard
Monday, December 12, 2005
WASHINGTON — Although there has been some rumbling among Republicans about permanently filling the majority leader post Tom DeLay vacated, House leaders are moving to give the embattled lawmaker from Sugar Land more time to clear away his legal problems and reclaim the post.

The Republican leadership is planning to keep the House in recess almost the entire month of January, while the full Senate plans to return on Jan. 18, almost two weeks after the Senate Judiciary Committee's hearings on the confirmation of Samuel Alito to the Supreme Court.

DeLay's lawyers hope to use that time to get the campaign money laundering charges against the lawmaker dismissed or prevail at trial, clearing the way for him to reclaim his leadership post. Meanwhile, DeLay is maneuvering to try to get a more powerful interim position.

But some GOP legislators, concerned that DeLay's legal and ethical problems are undermining the political standing of the Republican congressional majority, are openly calling for new House leadership elections in January to install a permanent replacement for DeLay in the No. 2 position in the House under Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill.

"We need to make a fundamental decision early next year about where we need to go," Rep. Dan Lungren, R-Calif., said last week after a Texas judge refused to dismiss felony charges brought against DeLay in connection with the alleged laundering of campaign donations in a 2002 Texas election.

Rep. Chris Shays, R-Conn., a longtime critic of DeLay, was more to the point in his remarks. Having DeLay reclaim the position he relinquished in September after his indictment by a Texas grand jury "would be a disaster" for the Republican congressional majority, Shays said.

But even as he seeks to reclaim his No. 2 spot in the House political hierarchy, DeLay is also trying to claim a seat on the powerful House Appropriations Committee, his one-time power base, as a short-term remedy to his loss of power on Capitol Hill, according to The Hill newspaper.

(Full Story)

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