The HouseDouglas Harbrecht and Paul Magnusson
After giving at least a few minutes' thought to the idea of trying to increase their influence by cooperating with the new Administration, House Republicans have come down firmly on the side of confrontation. The clearest signal came on Dec. 7, when the House gop caucus voted to oust Jerry Lewis of California as chairman of the Republican Conference, the No.3 leadership post, in favor of Texas conservative Richard K. Armey. Armey won by promising to use in-your-face politics against the Democrats. But the former economics professor is more than a mere bomb-thrower. He won the respect of colleagues in 1988 when he devised the procedure that cleared the way for large-scale closing of military bases. He also has led a bipartisan effort to cut farm subsidies.