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  Hastert may remain House speaker, for now
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Last EditedRP  Oct 04, 2006 04:20pm
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News DateWednesday, October 4, 2006 08:20:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionThe top House Republican, under fire for his handling of a Capitol Hill sex scandal, gained support on Wednesday in his bid to survive the political firestorm over a former congressman's lewd messages to teenage boys, party aides said.

But House Speaker Dennis Hastert, who oversees the congressional intern program at the center of the scandal, could still be forced out after the November 7 elections, the aides said.

"Looks like right now he will keep his job for a maximum of one and one-half months," said a senior party official, adding that in the meantime Hastert may fire some staffers. Other party aides said it remains unclear how long he will stay.

On Wednesday, Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana, chairman of the Republican Study Committee that claims about 100 members, and Rep. Joe Pitts of Pennsylvania, chairman of the party's Values Action Team with about 70 members, issued a joint statement in support of Hastert.
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