Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Morning round-up on DeLay Rule reversal

Lots of newspapers front-page the DeLay Rule Reversal, including the New York Times, Washington Post, and DeLay's hometown Houston Chronicle. Here are key excerpts from those papers and more:

NY Times:

Mr. DeLay's action came as a surprise. Aides said he and J. Dennis Hastert, the House speaker, who commended Mr. DeLay for his action, conferred on the plan briefly before the closed session.

Lawmakers said it was unclear whether the Republican leadership had the votes to force through a package of ethics revisions, and some commended Mr. DeLay for his effort to spare lawmakers a difficult vote.

Washington Post:

Rep. J.D. Hayworth (R-Ariz.) said during a break in the meeting that the "indictment rule" was restored in part because of complaints that members had heard back home.

"Constituents reacted," he said. "We're blessed with a leadership that listens."

Aides said DeLay made the decision quite a while ago that he would propose changing the rule on indictments back to the previous version, saying that he could see Democrats would continue using the change as a basis for personal attacks. The aides said DeLay did not want to put Republicans through it, and wanted to deny Democrats the opening.

At their own private meeting, Democrats added a rule requiring party leaders to step down if they are indicted. Democrats planned to try to embarrass Republicans by proposing such a rule in the full House today.

LA Times:

DeLay "did a lot of thinking over the Christmas recess" and decided that the rule change was taking attention away from the GOP legislative agenda, [spokesman Jonathan] Grella said.

(Think he liked the ad?)

Houston Chronicle:

Acknowledging that a Texas political corruption case and recent ethics investigations have become a distraction to his party's goals, House Majority Leader Tom DeLay of Sugar Land on Monday asked colleagues to undo party rule changes that would allow him to keep his powerful leadership post if he is indicted.

Boston Globe (welcome to Washington, Rick):

House Republican leaders last night abruptly abandoned plans to loosen some ethics regulations for members and reinstated a requirement that indicted members step down from leadership posts.


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