Presidents and Split Congresses: A New Observation

A while back, the author wrote about split Congresses, whereby the House of Representatives and the Senate have been placed in the hands of opposing political parties.

As indicated, it has now happened for 12 years since 1900–under President William Howard Taft 1911-1913, President Herbert Hoover in 1931-1933, President Ronald Reagan 1981-1987, and now President Barack Obama from 2011-2013.

And as reported, in each of the first three cases, a Republican President faced a Democratic House and Republican Senate, while now for the first time a Democratic President faces the opposite, a Republican House and Democratic Senate.

What has now been realized through the assistance of one of my History students, Stephanie Mundo, at Florida Atlantic University, is the observation, never crossing my mind, that the “people’s branch”, the House of Representatives, which is elected every two years, has been in each case put into the hands of the party opposing the President, while the Senate, which only turns over one third at a time due to the six year Senate terms, remains with the President. So the vote of no confidence is demonstrated by the House of Representatives becoming the center of opposition.

This fact really makes sense, and may only be of concern to true academics and political junkies, but it IS an interesting point, and I wish to thank Stephanie Mundo for making me realize that interesting, and actually very significant, point of analysis about split Congresses.

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