Tom DeLay is reclaiming his seat on the powerful appropriations committee. He's losing control over the money machine that gave him the muscle to force votes and serve as Majority Leader. So now he's going to control (at least try to control) where money gets spent - an equally potent weapon in the battle to force good Republicans to give him their allegiance, to vote as he dictates instead of how their constituents dictate. Really. We should have seen this coming.
It only adds insult to injury that the reason there's an open seat is that the Republican bribe-accepting Duke Cunningham left it open when he resigned in disgrace.