MODERATE REPUBLICANS FIGHTING BACK?….An interesting article in The Hill this week says that centrist Republicans in the House are upset with the efforts of new Majority Leader Tom DeLay to enforce a conservative party line:

Many centrists are angered by a $50,000 contribution that Majority Leader Tom DeLay (Texas) made to the Club For Growth, a conservative advocacy group whose mission they say is to defeat liberal Republicans in primaries. Rep. Wayne Gilchrest (R-Md.), a member of the Tuesday Group, faced a stiff challenge from a conservative primary challenger backed by the group.

….It has also become apparent that House leaders have followed through on threats made last year in the midst of a heated battle on campaign finance reform.

Members of the GOP leadership withheld plum committee assignments from Republican lawmakers who defied them and signed a discharge petition forcing a vote on the controversial bill.

If there’s anyone who seems likely to try and overreach in order to push a conservative agenda, DeLay’s the guy. Considering the lukewarm response that Bush’s tax plan has gotten from moderate Republicans, it will be interesting to see if this turns into a real fight or is just a tempest in a teapot.

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