Congress Notes - 1 22/2007 I Newt Gingrich focused on...

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1/ 22/2007 I. Newt Gingrich focused on making a unified house. o Regardless of who you send to Congress, if you vote Democrat, Congress will not be good. Congressional elections used to be all about local needs, but Gingrich made it about voting for the right party. Promised that 10 programs would be enacted, “The Contract for America” The success of this inspired the Democrats for the 2006 election and promised programs if they won the Congressional majority Another source of the Republican win in 1994 was the public unease of President Clinton and Mrs. Clinton’s health care policy. II. Bush has recently found it hard to do what he wants. Before Congress supported and would pass appropriations (i.e. American Patriot Act, which Democrats opposed but Republicans supported) Democrats and Republicans fight about Bush’s want to cut taxes. Democrats oppose because it will increase national debts and make it hard for Congress to enact programs that the Democrats (and their constituents) like. For Republicans, tax cuts are a central plank since Reagan came to Presidency. Key reason Bush opposes/supports legislation is because of party. o i.e. No Child Left Behind’s Voucher system. Teachers Unions oppose because the school must side with parents. Students will tend to go to private schools. Conservative educational analysts argue that the power of the Teachers Union’s influences the school system. The Teachers Unions strongly support the Democrat party Bush’s campaigning in 2000/2004 allowed Republicans to jump on his coat tails. Midterm elections tend to be a chance for the people to express how they feel about the current president. The liberalization of the Democratic Party is matched by the Conservitization of the Republican Party. 1/24/2007 Conservative Coalition: Late 1930’s to Late 1960’s (Southern Democrats and Conservative Republicans) Growing ideology of the parties (liberalization of Democrats, Conservitization of the Republicans). Democrats had been able to avoid the issue of race, so they were able to garner votes of the white Southerner and southern Democrats. Because of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, the Democratic Party became more uniformly liberal. Prior to this, Southern White segregationists had supported the Democrats. Threat of cut off all Federal Funds caused Southern districts to desegregate schools. Liberal programs were enacted under JFK and LBJ. This transformed Congress. Even though Democrats had a majority, not all the liberal plans were passed because of the Conservative Coalition
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Congress went along with Korea and Vietnam, but all this changed with the enfranchisement with blacks…the Southern Democrats had to become more Liberal.
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