In a fit of defiance that could limit his effectiveness as House Banking Committee chairman, Rep. Jim Leach broke ranks with Republican leaders Monday and opposed Newt Gingrich's reelection as speaker.

"For the country's sake, I have concluded that the most responsible course of action for the speaker is to step down and for the members to choose another leader for the House," Rep. Leach said in a three-page statement.

Limited Time Offer

Save $400 off your subscription. Special offer ends April 30, 2017.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.