Blunt picked to replace DeLay as US House leade
Tom DeLay was forced to give up the job after being indicted by a Texas grand jury.
WASHINGTON – Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously elected Roy Blunt of Missouri as their majority leader, replacing Tom DeLay, who was forced to give up the job after being indicted by a Texas grand jury, lawmakers said.
After a closed-door meeting of House Republicans, lawmakers said Blunt’s position was an interim arrangement for the rest of the year and that he would share leadership responsibilities with Rep. David Dreier of California.
It was not immediately clear how Blunt, who had had been the third ranking Republican member of the House, would share duties with Dreier, the chairman of the House Rules Committee.
«We all believe that he (DeLay) will return once this indictment is out of the way, and be the leader again,» Blunt said.
DeLay said his legal problems will not derail the Republican agenda.
«If the Democrats think we’re going to go crawl in a hole and not accomplish our agenda, I wish they could have been a fly on the wall and seen these members come together for a bold and aggressive agenda,» he said.
«What I told the members basically was, we all know what this is — a political witch hunt,» he said.
DeLay was indicted in Texas on a felony campaign finance charge and under House rules was required to step down from his leadership post.