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REYNOLDS RETAINS GOP POST

In the wake of the party's victories in the Nov. 2 elections, Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds, R-Clarence, was re-elected Tuesday for another two-year term as chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Reynolds, whose post entails increasing Republican representation in the House, still is basking in the results of the elections in which Republicans added to their majorities in both the House and Senate.

House Speaker Dennis Hastert of Illinois also won a fourth consecutive term in that position and pledged a "reform Congress" when lawmakers convene in January.

"We will reform the legal system to stop lawsuit abuse. . . . We will reform Social Security without cutting benefits and raising taxes on senior citizens, and we will work to reform the tax code to make it more simple and more fair," said Hastert, who has a close relationship with President Bush.

Also elected unanimously at the Republican conference meeting were House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas; Majority Whip Roy Blunt, R-Mo.; and other leaders.

Reynolds said the party's Congressional Committee post ranks eight among leadership positions.

In a letter to Republican colleagues, Reynolds noted that Republicans will have at least 231 members in the House when Congress convenes in January, up three from 2002 and the largest number since 1946.

Never before, Reynolds said, has the party increased its number in two consecutive election cycles.

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