Time Magazine's Mike Allen has a great scoop: Former Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas), in an extended interview with Time reveals that on Tuesday he will announce that he will not run for re-election and towards the end of May he will quit Congress.
DeLay, under an ethical cloud--facing Texas charges of campaign money laundering while close associates have been caught up in the Abramoff lobbying scandal-- said he will continue to campaign for GOP candidates and causes. This will dominate the political news on Tuesday.
Read Allen's entire interview with DeLay on Time's web site. An excerpt follows.
Dems seized on DeLay's stepping down and today will keep up the drumbeat.
"Tom DeLay's announcement is just the beginning of the reckoning of the Republican culture of corruption that has gripped Washington for too long,'' said the Democratic National Committee in a statement.
MORNING UPDATE: Statement just in from GOP House political chief Rep. Tom Reynolds (R-N.Y.). Reynolds: DeLay strong conservative voice will be missed on the campaign trail.
House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) in a statement said DeLay ``served our nation with integrity.''
Time Mag excerpt followed by Boehne and Democratic National Committee statements
TIME: What are your immediate plans? Could you talk to me about the timeline?
DeLay: I'm going to announce tomorrow (Tuesday) that I'm not running for reelection and that I'm going to leave Congress sometime—I haven't figured out because I have some things to do, to finish. I'm working very hard on the President's vision for NASA and that's incredibly important for the nation, as well as this district. I'm working on some district things. I hope to get through those things as fast as possible. But it'll take a couple months. So I don't know exactly the date. I'll probably come up with a date in the next couple weeks.
TIME: Less than 60 days? Sometime in May?
DeLay:Probably the end of May. But it depends on the Congressional schedule. As far as what happens with my spot on the ballot: The state Republican executive committee will go to work and I will move to Virginia. The state Republican election committee will pick someone to run on this ballot.
Boehner Statement on the Announcement by Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX)
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) today issued the following statement on the announcement by Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX):
"Simply put Tom is one of the most effective and gifted leaders the Republican Party has ever known. He was a tireless advocate for his constituents, the state of Texas, and all Americans who shared a commitment to the principles of smaller government, more freedom, and family values.
"The country owes Tom a great debt of gratitude for helping lead America in a new direction - a direction outlined in the Contract with America that saw balanced budgets, historic welfare reforms, lower taxes, regulatory relief, and a renewed respect for the sanctity of life. I am pleased he plans to remain active and engaged in fighting for the principles that unite our Republican majority.
"He has served our nation with integrity and honor, and I'm honored to call him my colleague and friend."
DNC Response to Tom DeLay Withdrawing from House Race
Washington, DC -- Democratic National Committee Communications Director Karen Finney today issued the following statement in response to reports that scandal-plagued former Republican House Majority Leader Tom has decided to withdraw from his re-election race:
"Tom DeLay's announcement is just the beginning of the reckoning of the Republican culture of corruption that has gripped Washington for too long. From DeLay, to Scooter Libby, to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, to Duke Cunningham, to Bob Ney, to David Safavian--the list goes on and on. Make no mistake, this Fall the American people are going to have a clear choice between Democrats who offer a bold vision based on honest leadership and real security, and Republicans who can only offer more of the same Republican culture of corruption and incompetence."
NRCC Chairman Tom Reynolds Statement on Rep. Tom DeLay's Announcement
WASHINGTON – National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) Chairman Tom Reynolds today issued the following statement in response to Rep. Tom DeLay's announcement:
"The House Republican Conference is losing a powerful conservative voice in Tom DeLay. I applaud Tom for over two decades of service to the Congress and to the people of Texas’ 22nd District.
"Tom’s invaluable presence on the campaign trail will certainly be missed as we continue the battle to strengthen our House Republican Majority, but on this day, we celebrate him for time and again delivering on our party’s bold agenda of reform. To say Tom was a driving force in every key accomplishment of this Republican Congress is no understatement.
"In all my years as an elected official, I have never seen a better vote counter than Tom DeLay. I continue to think of Tom as an inspiring leader and wish nothing but the best to him and his family."