Tom DeLay will never be the House Majority Leader again.
[S]enior House Republicans, who would only speak privately about internal party affairs, said they sensed a shift against Mr. DeLay in light of the Abramoff plea and other disclosures. And they noted that Mr. DeLay could encounter new resistance in his effort to regain his position, particularly with important party voices joining the call. But they said there appeared to be no organized effort to act quickly given that House members are scattered across the globe during the recess and some are caught up in first clearing up their own links to Mr. Abramoff.
Lawmakers say Mr. DeLay owns one advantage in holding on to his post. Fifty House Republicans would have to publicly buck the powerful figure and sign a petition requesting a meeting to hold a new election. A secret ballot would then be held to vacate the post. The senior Republicans said they believed that the furor surrounding the Abramoff case could spur lawmakers to act and circulate a petition if Mr. DeLay does not decide on his own to relinquish the position.