GOP coalition seeks shake-up of House leadership
Flake: 'We need a serious course correction' after scandals
From Ed Henry and Deirdre Walsh
YOUR E-MAIL ALERTS
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- In what could be the death knell for Rep. Tom DeLay's hopes of returning to the House leadership and a wake-up call to the current GOP leaders, some moderate and conservative Republicans are officially calling on the House Republican leadership to hold elections in early February, CNN has learned.
The effort is being spearheaded by conservative Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Arizona, and moderate Rep. Charlie Bass, R-New Hampshire. The two are circulating a petition.
Under House Republican conference rules, they need 50 signatures to hold a meeting to press the new elections when the 109th Congress reconvenes on January 31. GOP congressional sources indicated to CNN that they were halfway toward that mark early Friday afternoon.
Flake told CNN by phone, "We don't just need new leaders, we need a serious course correction or we're going to be in the minority."
Citing the Jack Abramoff scandal and the resignation of Rep. Duke Cunningham of California after his indictment for illegally taking money from a defense contractor, Flake said the leadership has underestimated the impact of such news.
"It's a different ballgame. We've crossed that Rubicon," he said.
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