Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas) is the number three member of the House Republican leadership. Elected to the House in 1984 from his Houston-area district, DeLay became minority whip in 1994. He has a reputation as a shrewd political operator and as a strong ideological conservative.
DeLay, who also serves on the Appropriations Committee, gets near-perfect marks for his voting record from conservative and business groups, including the National Taxpayers Union, the Christian Voice magazine and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
DeLay has been a key advocate of regulatory relief, and authored such reforms in the Republicans' Contract with America. He favors increased use of cost-benefit analysis to weigh the value of increased regulations versus the actual risks they are designed to thwart. He ardently supports the nation's space program, so important to the Houston area.
DeLay began his legislative career in 1978, becoming the first Fort Bend County Republican elected to the Texas House of Representatives in this century.
After graduating from the University of Houston in 1970, Delay owned and operated a pest control business. He is on the advisory board of the Fort Bend Regional Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse and the Fort Bend Crimestoppers. He also works with the CloseUp Foundation, a nonpartisan educational foundation, and a drug abuse treatment and rehabilitation center called Odyssey House in Texas.
Updated Mar. 3, 1997