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A Quick Note On One Reason Why FDR Was Effective In Ways Obama Is Not

April 22, 2013, 5:35 pm

73rd Congress:

Senate: 59 Ds, 36 Rs
House: 311 Ds, 117 Rs

74th Congress:

Senate: 70 Ds, 23 Rs.
House: 322 Ds, 103 Rs.

75th Congress:

Senate: 75 Ds, 16 Rs.
House: 334 Ds, 88 Rs.

76th Congress:

Senate: 70 Ds, 22 Rs
House: 256 Ds, 173 Rs.

These all come at the beginning of each term and carry us through January, 1941. So, for his first two terms, FDR’s smallest majority in the Senate was 21 23 and his average majority was 44.

In case you missed that: his average majority was 44 (bolded just f@#$#$$ because).

Number of votes needed to invoke cloture in the Senate during FDR’s first two terms: 64. So, for three out of four Congresses during FDR’s first two terms, he had a filibuster-proof majority.

In the House, FDR’s smallest majority was 83 and his average majority was 186.

Yes, he had to deal with a lot of conservative Southern Democrats during this period who would be Republicans now. You can, however, lose a lot of people and still win the vote when your majority is in the “Holy @#$#, How Large Is Your Majority?” range.

It’s easier to be a great President when your party owns the legislative branch.

[Updated to add cloture numbers]

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