Republicans Move to Protect DeLay's Position

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

House Republicans are meeting Wednesday to give their leader some political cover.

They'll be voting on a change in party rules to ensure that
Congressman Tom DeLay keeps his post as House majority leader even
if a Texas grand jury indicts him.

Party rules require leaders to give up their posts after a
felony indictment, but the change would eliminate that requirement
for non-federal indictments.

The Travis County grand jury has indicted three of the Sugar
Land Republican's political associates in a probe of alleged
irregularities in 2002 Texas legislative races. Republican wins in
those races paved the way for a congressional redistricting plan in
Texas that enabled the G-O-P to pick up five House seats.

There's no indication DeLay faces charges and he has called the
investigation a partisan attack on him. It's led by a prosecutor
who's a Democrat.

The leader of House Democrats, California's Nancy Pelosi, says
the rule change would show Republicans "simply do not care if
their leaders are ethical."

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