January 10, 2006 – Former GOP House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, nicknamed the “Hammer” for his iron-fisted tactics in the U.S. House of Representatives, finally lost his grip on power and announced he would not seek a return to his leadership post.
DeLay was forced to step aside as Majority Leader after being indicted by a Texas grand jury for alleged fundraising violations. DeLay’s fall comes shortly after guilty pleas for bribery by former GOP lobbyist Jack Abramoff and a former aide to DeLay Michael Scanlon, a business partner of Abramoff’s. DeLay allegedly benefited from trips and other gifts arranged by Abramoff, including a lavish trip to a golf resort in Scotland.
While House Majority Whip and later House Majority Leader, DeLay brought partisan politics to new heights. He imposed a virtual one-party rule in the House and shook down corporations and lobbyists in return for access.
DeLay delivered a wish list of legislation for corporations and the wealthy donors, including big tax cuts and roll backs of regulations on corporate liability, worker safety and environmental protection.
DeLay’s tactics ensured the House passed fast track authority, which allowed more unfair trade deals. Seniors now have a phony Medicare prescription drug program and drug companies don’t have to negotiate for lower prices because of DeLay and his allies.
DeLay also personally blocked action on stopping the abuse, including forced abortions, of thousands of workers in Saipan, a U.S. Territory.