WASHINGTON (AP) _ To House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, the Republican Party's ``Contract With America'' ranks right up there with the Magna Carter, Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights among the ``great documents of freedom.''

So says Delay's Internet Web site. It describes that 1994 campaign treatise, credited with helping the GOP end four decades of House rule by Democrats, ``a written commitment that presented to the people an agenda for the House of Representatives.''

``In exercising their freedom to govern themselves, the people could read The Contract with America and embrace the agenda in the document,'' according to DeLay's site which includes a tutorial on the Constitution. ``The resulting vote re-established he people's control of Congress ...., `` it says.

The document was the foundation for the newly elected Republican House's agenda in 1995, which included legislation to limit welfare, require a balanced budget and limit to six years how long people could hold office in the House. Some, such as welfare restrictions and a child tax credit, made it into law.

Others _ like the term limits _ were later abandoned by the same politicians who had adopted them as a platform or were ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court. One contract item turned aside by the high court was the proposal to give presidents line-item veto authority in the federal budgeting process.

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On the Net: http://tomdelay.house.gov