Republicans have been feeling lucky for weeks about their chances to seize a Senate majority come November, but now they're also actually within shooting distance of the House for the first time since 1954. This morning, about 350 G.O.P. lawmakers and House candidates gathered under the Capitol dome for a photo-op signing of a new "Contract with America" -- a 10-point platform they said they'd turn into reality if they tip the electoral scales in six weeks. Among the pledges, courtesy of ringleader and House minority whip Newt Gingrich: a balanced-budget amendment, presidential line-item veto, making the death penalty a more common part of American life, term limits and keeping U.S. troops away from U.N. command abroad. BUT CHANGE WON'T COME CHEAP: This evening, the celebrants tripped off to the traditional pre-campaign feed -- a $5,000-a-table dinner to raise half a million dollars from Washington's elite.