DeLay Announces June 9 Departure From Congress

Rep. Tom DeLay, the once-powerful majority leader whose career was undermined by scandal, said Thursday he would resign from the House on June 9.

"As you are aware," the Texas Republican wrote House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., "I have recently made the decision to pursue new opportunities to engage in the important cultural and political battles of our day from an arena outside of the U.S. House of Representatives."

He told Hastert he would resign at the close of business on June 9.

The combative conservative last month stated his intention to resign in June, saying he did not want to allow Democrats to turn the next election in his district near Houston into a negative personal campaign.

DeLay, 59, an 11-term congressman, faced a tough re-election bid following his indictment in Texas as part of an investigation into the allegedly illegal use of funds for state legislative races.

Two of DeLay's former staffers have also pleaded guilty as part of the influence-peddling investigation into former lobbyist Jack Abramoff. No one involved in the investigation has publicly accused DeLay of breaking the law.

DeLay stepped down as majority leader, the second-most powerful position in the House, last fall after his indictment in Texas.