Republicans always hold themselves to the highest of ethical standrads. That's why, when faced with the possibilty of House Majority Leader Tom Delay's ethical problems turning into a felony indictment, they took strong and decisive action.
Current GOP rules dictate that if a member of the leadership is indicted for a crime that carries more than 2 years in prison, she/he shall temporarily be removed from the leadership post. Since DeLay's cohorts are looking at life in prison for money laundering charges, whatever crimes he might eventually get charged with probably will cross the two year threshold, which would require him to step down.
Naturally, when faced between the choice of protecting a powerful congressman or preserving a shred of institutional dignity, House Republicans chose the former. A proposed change by DeLay lackey Henry Bonilla (R-TX) would eliminate the offending rule, so that DeLay could continue to serve while under prosecution. (Link via Talking Points Memo)
Though this is sufficient for the short-term, Republican congressman are already crafting a bill to label the House of Representatives a federal prison so that DeLay can also continue to serve in the event he is convicted. An anonymous GOP staffer said the change would be necessary "so that the House isn't intimidated or influenced by such anti-democratic notions as rule of law and morality."