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42Inside the Presidency of Bill Clinton$
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Michael Nelson, Barbara A. Perry, and Russell L. Riley

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780801454066

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801454066.001.0001

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date: 23 August 2017

Compromise and Confrontation

Compromise and Confrontation

Clinton’s Evolving Relationship with Congress

Chapter:
(p.79) 3 Compromise and Confrontation
Source:
42
Author(s):

Sean M. Theriault

Patrick T. Hickey

Megan Moeller

Publisher:
Cornell University Press
DOI:10.7591/cornell/9780801454066.003.0003

This chapter assesses Clinton’s relationship with Congress as one that included elements of compromise and confrontation. The relationship between Congress and the president underwent major and lasting changes in the 1990s, especially in the Senate. Clinton was most effective passing legislation during his first term, a period characterized by both unified and divided government. This success was not easily accomplished at first, when the Democratic Party was divided in Congress and Clinton’s legislative operation was not working inefficiently. By 1994, the Clinton White House had figured out how to persuade Congress to work with the president. The onset of divided government after the 1994 Republican revolution changed the congressional agenda and put the brakes on some Clinton agenda items. Even so, the White House was still able to work with the 104th Congress thanks to improved efficiency in the White House Office of Legislative Affairs and Clinton’s interpersonal skills with both members of Congress and the American public.

Keywords:   Clinton presidency, Republican Congress, Democratic Party, Clinton White House, Republican revolution, 104th Congress, Legislative Affairs

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