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House Republican Says DeLay Should Step Down

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  • Greg Cannon
    http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20050410/ap_on_go_co/delay Shays Says DeLay Should Step Down 5 minutes ago By LOU KESTEN, Associated Press Writer
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 10, 2005

      Shays Says DeLay Should Step Down

      5 minutes ago

      By LOU KESTEN, Associated Press Writer

      WASHINGTON - Rep. Christopher Shays (news, bio, voting
      record) said Sunday that fellow Republican Rep. Tom
      DeLay (news, bio, voting record) should step down as
      House majority leader because his continuing ethics
      problems are hurting the GOP.

      "Tom's conduct is hurting the Republican Party, is
      hurting this Republican majority and it is hurting any
      Republican who is up for re-election," Shays told The
      Associated Press on Sunday.

      DeLay, R-Texas, has been dogged in recent months by
      reports of possible ethics violations. There have been
      questions about his overseas travel, campaign payments
      to family members and his connections to lobbyists who
      are under investigation.

      A moderate Republican from Connecticut who has battled
      with his party's leadership on a number of issues,
      Shays said efforts by the House GOP members to change
      ethics rules to protect DeLay only make the party look

      "My party is going to have to decide whether we are
      going to continue to make excuses for Tom to the
      detriment of Republicans seeking election," Shays

      Rick Santorum, the No. 3 Republican in the Senate,
      said Sunday that DeLay needs to answer questions about
      his ethics.

      "I think he has to come forward and lay out what he
      did and why he did it and let the people then judge
      for themselves," Santorum told ABC's "This Week." "But
      from everything I've heard, again, from the comments
      and responding to those, is everything he's done was
      according to the law.

      "Now you may not like some of the things he's done,"
      said Santorum, who is up for re-election next year in
      Pennsylvania. "That's for the people of his district
      to decide, whether they want to approve that kind of
      behavior or not."

      DeLay's spokesman, Dan Allen, told The Associated
      Press on Sunday that the congressman "looks forward to
      the opportunity of sitting down with the ethics
      committee chairman and ranking member to get the facts
      out and to dispel the fiction and innuendo that's
      being launched at him by House Democrats and their
      liberal allies."

      The majority leader was admonished three times last
      year by that committee. The committee has been in
      limbo since March, when its five Democrats balked at
      adopting Republican-developed rules.

      House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said
      last week that the controversy was distracting DeLay
      from dealing with more pressing problems before

      Santorum, however, said DeLay is "very effective in
      leading the House" and "to date, has not been

      A senior Democratic senator, Christopher Dodd of
      Connecticut, had this advice for the Republicans who
      control both the House and Senate: "Be careful about
      how closely you embrace Mr. DeLay."

      Dodd cited the new rules for the ethics committee that
      House Republicans rammed through in the wake of
      DeLay's difficulties. Those rules require a bipartisan
      vote before an investigation can be launched. DeLay's
      office also helped mount a counterattack last fall
      against Rep. Joel Hefley (news, bio, voting record),
      R-Colo., who was the ethics committee chairman when it
      came down against DeLay.

      "Unfortunately, in his particular case, there's a
      process that he's tried to change so they could
      actually reach a determination as to whether or not
      he's innocent or guilty of the things he's been
      charged with," Dodd said. "But this is not going to go

      DeLay "becomes the poster child for a lot of the
      things the Democrats think are wrong about Republican
      leadership. As long as he's there, he's going to
      become a pretty good target," Dodd said on ABC.

      DeLay, who took center stage in passing legislation
      designed to keep alive Terri Schiavo, also has found
      that President Bush and congressional colleagues are
      distancing themselves from his comments, after her
      death, about the judges involved in her case.

      "The time will come for the men responsible for this
      to answer for their behavior," DeLay said, raising the
      prospect of impeaching members of a separate and
      independent branch of government. Later, he complained
      of "an arrogant and out of control judiciary that
      thumbs its nose at Congress and the president."

      Bush, declining to endorse DeLay's comments, said
      Friday that he supports "an independent judiciary." He
      added, "I believe in proper checks and balances."

      Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee said
      last week that the judges "handled it in a fair and
      independent way," although he had hoped for a
      different result.

      Democrats have said DeLay's remarks were tantamount to
      inciting violence against judges.

      Associated Press Writers Lolita C. Baldor and Suzanne
      Gamboa contributed to this report.
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