House GOP Wants To Replace DeLay

Apparently, Tom DeLay is too hot to handle.

Embattled Rep. Tom DeLay’s hopes of reclaiming his post as House majority leader suffered a setback Friday as fellow Republicans called for new leadership in the midst of a congressional corruption scandal.

Days after lobbyist Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty in courtrooms in two cities, a pair of GOP lawmakers circulated a petition calling for elections to pick a permanent replacement for DeLay. The Texas lawmaker temporarily relinquished his leadership post last year following indictment on campaign finance charges in his home state.

Separately, Rep. John Kline (news, bio, voting record), R-Minn., said there was no room in the leadership for DeLay.

“The situation is that Tom’s legal situation doesn’t seem to be reaching clarity,” Kline told The Associated Press. “There are stories of more indictments or questions associated with Jack Abramoff. And I think that Tom DeLay is going to have to concentrate on that.”

Spokesman Kevin Madden said DeLay “appreciates that a majority of his colleagues recognizes that he remains committed to fulfilling his responsibilities as majority leader and that he’ll be quickly exonerated in Texas.”

“And he appreciates that a majority of his colleagues won’t give in to what is essentially character assassination by insinuation,” Madden said.

While we’re not at a critical point right now, DeLay could become a real distraction for Republicans as the mid-terms approach. Hopefully he’ll be wise enough to step aside when the time is right.

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