DeLay Vows Quick Return to House

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay

10-3-05 - Tom DeLay is vowing a quick return to his powerful role as House majority leader despite a criminal indictment, putting him at odds with some moderate Republicans who say his tarnished image could hurt the party.

A defiant DeLay, R-Texas, on Sunday dismissed the criminal conspiracy charges against him as "over the top" and said he can do his job even without the title. He pledged to continue his close partnership with House Speaker Dennis Hastert to aggressively push an agenda of lower gasoline prices and tax cuts in the coming weeks.

Under House Republican rules, DeLay had to step aside as floor leader because of the indictment.

The criminal charges are "so frivolous, so over-the-top, so embarrassing to the judiciary that we ought to be able to get it out of here pretty quickly," DeLay told "Fox News Sunday." "It will be over and be over very, very soon. And I think I will go back to be majority leader."

DeLay said he and Hastert, R-Ill., will continue to plot GOP strategy. "The speaker and I have been leading the House for, what, eight years now. It's because we get along together, we think the same. We are simpatico."