To Newt or To Not

How an Undisciplined New Speaker and Rigid Proposals Emboldened Democratic Hopes of Retaking the U.S. House in 1996

by Scott Crass



Book Details

Language : English
Publication Date : 02/04/2024

Format : Softcover
Dimensions : 6x9
Page Count : 478
ISBN : 9798369418703

About the Book

In 1994, Democrats were reeling from losing control of the House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years. Returning members entered the new, 104th Congress powerless but the persona of the architect of that Republican takeover offered hope that their time in the wilderness would be brief. Speaker Newt Gingrich was a visionary but often accompanied that quality with brazen legislative initiatives and instinctive remarks that often brought turbulence to his caucus. Many of his “majority makers” had extreme views which they often expressed in eyebrow raising terms. The approval of the new Congress tanked and a 1996 government shutdown was fuel to the fire. Minority Leader Richard Gephardt made a ferocious drive to recapture the chamber for his Democrats that November and Gingrich became a leading, involuntary character in many of the candidates’ campaigns. While the effort to regain control fell short, the many contests profiled in this book offer a fascinating look at overreach and rhetoric out of touch with much of America.

About the Author