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The Journal of the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration at The George Washington University


The congressional elections of 1994 gave the GOP a unique opportunity: the chance to govern as the majority party in the House for the first time in 40 years. However, the balance of power in the House has narrowed with every election cycle since 1994, giving the Democrats the potential to retake the majority in 2000. Although either party may be in a position to serve in the majority, the more likely scenario is that both parties will probably be at parity with each other. This article compares the management styles and priorities of the last Democratic Congress (103rd, 1993-95) with the subsequent Republican Congress (104th, 1995-97) to discover which lessons can be learned about how, given the opportunity, either party would manage the House in the upcoming 107th Congress. This article will also review some of the transitional difficulties that took place the last time control of the House changed between the two parties in 1995.

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