A. A. Razakov, senior teacher,
National University of Uzbekistan,
One of the main differences between the US Congress and European parliaments, the classic example of which is English, is the organization of the party system. The specificity of the American parliamentary party system is determined by the fact that the two main organizations exist on their own, while the struggle on various issues unfolds between groups, political alliances, coalitions that often depend little on the party membership of their participants. In practice, this means that two coalitions of the same party can play the role of political opponents, for example, the liberal coalition and the southern wing of the democratic faction.
At the same time, party membership is a very significant factor that consolidates the faction as a whole. The internal contradictions of the links that unite legislators into one faction, the absence of party ties in some issues and their presence in others make the problem of the party's role in the American Congress one of the most difficult. If we take the republican faction, then despite the internal contradiction between the moderate, the ultra-right and the conservatives, we can speak of greater unity in comparison with the democrats.
Democratic faction in Congress for half a century is the union of two opposing elements, the liberal-democratic coalition and the southern wing, and the southern, despite belonging to a democratic party, often vote against together with the Republicans.
Between these two party factions, as well as within the parties themselves, there are very serious differences on a number of specific problems, primarily in the sphere of state regulation of the economy and social life. The attitude to this complex of problems is still determined by the political spectrum of the Senate and the House of Representatives [6, p. 4].
It plays an important role in US political history and the relationship between the president and the congress. Depending on the majority of this or that political faction depends on the political and economic course of the state, both internal and external.
As for the relationship between the president and the congress, nothing fundamentally changed with the time of George Washington, as complex cooperation and confrontation between the executive and legislative branches became the main constant of the American government system. Much evidence shows that the fathers of the Constitution did not consider the presidency, but Congress as the central institution, and strengthened the president primarily in order to prevent the "tyranny of the majority" that they feared. Congress alone had the power of the wallet, the right of taxes and the budget, which alone allowed it to be managed at the national level [1, p. 19]. American history teaches that for the effective governance there should not be an insurmountable obstacle if the party of the president in one or even both houses of Congress is represented by a minority.
The situation is natural, when failure is not excluded, if the presidential party dominates the chamber of chairmen and in the senate. Capable presidents have always been taught, with the help of convictions or compromises, to find a majority in Congress to support their policies and reflect the parliamentarians' claims on power, if necessary vetо [5, p. 33].
The relationship between the president and the congress depends on the majority of this or that party faction. Thus, at the beginning of the 20th century and before the "Great Depression", the majority in the congress belonged to the Republicans. Of the 15 convocations, the period of 1901–1931, 12 were republican. After the "new course" and until 1994, the majority in the House of Representatives belonged, as a rule, to a democratic party. Of all the congresses convened from 1932 to 1994, only in two – the 80th and 83rd (1947–1949 and 1953–1955) the Republican Party won the majority of seats in Congress, which was reflected by many researchers in the implementation of the program G. Truman's "Fair Course". In view of the republican majority in the congress, this program could not be implemented, but it pointed out the direction of expansion according to the European standards of the still undeveloped American social system [7, p. 437].
Two years after the election of the president from the Democratic Party, W. D. Clinton in 1992, Republicans in 1994 in the midterm elections, for the first time in 40 years, won the majority in the congress. In the Senate and in the House of Representatives, the Republican Party won the number of governors. Many analysts examined this as a conservative revolution in the legislative branch of power.
For the first time since the distant 1952, when the US President elected popular Dwight Eisenhower, the elections brought the Republicans a majority in both chambers of the congress. After the midterm elections in 1994, the Republican Party again after a long break took the majority in the Congress – 53 seats against 47 Democrats, and in the House of Representatives – 230 against 204 .
The result of the election stated that the losses of the Democrats are unprecedented and surpass even the record "post-Heat gate" loss of Republicans in 1974, depriving them of 43 seats in the House and 3 in the Senate.
During the midterm elections in 1994, a third of the states there were elections of governors and officials and local authorities. A separate feature of the elections was the fact that in many states local referendums were held simultaneously. In California, for example, a referendum was held on the issue of prohibiting the reception of illegal immigrants to work, and their children in school, depriving immigrants of social security.
In six states, a referendum on tax reform was conducted, nine in terms of tenure in government officials, and three in homosexual rights. Thus, the 1994 midterm elections that brought victory to the Republicans showed an important part, a mechanism for securing the separation of power established in the American Constitution.
The reasons for the defeat of the Democrats in these midterm elections, many researchers call: voters' dissatisfaction with Clinton in the first two years of his reign, which affected the democratic party in midterm elections; Discontent with the neo-liberal program implemented by the administration of the ruling party [3, p. 28–29]; However, such a statement did not contain a complete answer.
For many analysts, it was not clear why, after such a triumph of the Democrats in 1992, for two years, voters suddenly stopped being satisfied with them and the administration, why they cooled to the neo-liberal reforms of the Democratic Party.
Although during the time of Clinton's management, about 4 million new jobs were created by his administration, the deficit of the federal budget was reduced, the incomes of both private business and individual citizens increased. President W. Clinton himself attributed this to the success of the Democrats' program, and the Republicans considered America's recovery to be a natural continuation of the economic policy of the previous President, George W. Bush .
What was the reason for the Republicans' victory in the 1994-midterm elections? The reasons given do not give a complete picture of the situation. For clarity, it is necessary to consider the historical process of elections at various levels from local bodies to elections in the White House.
It so happens that periodically every 10–20 years there is a shift of the voters' pendulum, which leads to ballot boxes both at the level of the US president and at the level of the congress or local governor, a significant detachment of voters of the new generation.
In the 1994 congressional elections in the United States, Republicans and their supporters came up better than the Democrats. For more than three decades there has been a blurring of the traditional electoral base of the democratic party of the union – residents of large cities and African-Americans – southerners. Suburbanization is accompanied by a change in voter motivation. Public problems are increasingly perceived by them through the prism of their family, their neighborhood community. In their value orientations, the problems of education, social protection, environmental protection, etc. are brought to the forefront. At the same time, the approach to the methods of solving social problems and social policy of the state is changing. Voters do not support programs based on the principle of redistribution of social wealth, voters are less pleased when their money is distributed and spent outside the area where they live. Of all the types of social assistance to the poor, for example, they give great preference to such as the organization of public works [3, p. 28–29].
In the interim congressional elections of 1994, every third out of four voted Americans preferred candidates from the Republican Party.
After the election, the chairman of the republican committee of the congress, member of the House of Representatives L. Williams Pakson said: "Now it is in our power not only to prevent the adoption of bad laws, but also to influence the very agenda of the legislative process" .
Immediately after the election Clinton said at the press conference that he was "ready to adopt a number of provisions of the republican platform – the right of congressmen to impose on certain budget items, limiting the demand of politicians in office, reform of tax legislation and the social security system" .
But such a compromise was somewhat problematic. Firstly, he could compromise in the event that this would not impede economic growth, for example, in tax cuts without a reduction in spending items;
And, secondly, it would not have been possible, since a compromise could affect the interests of its voters. For example, when reforming the social security system, it would be difficult for Clinton to meet the Republicans' demands.
Clinton's compromise with the Republican majority in Congress was stipulated in his annual message "On the state of the country", with which he addressed the newly elected congress. In it, Clinton approved many of the basic ideas of the Republican program "Contract with America," one of the foundations of which was the need to lower taxes for the middle class, reducing the costs of the federal government.
Analyzing the political situation after the mid-term elections of 1994 and the arrival of Republicans in the Congress, one can say that the main struggle has developed around the “budgetary problems of the United States”. Due to that, many of the intentions of Clinton’s social and economic programs failed to be approved by their congress. The Republican majority in Congress, considered the allocation of additional funds from the budget for social needs, which would further aggravate the budget deficit.
The fierce struggle around the concept of a balanced budget broke out in 1995. The Republican Congress tried to carry out its own conception, which was based on the need to balance the federal budget for seven years, according to which the Republicans expected already in 2002 to have a surplus. Clinton also actively resisted the idea of a balanced budget, rightly equating it with the Republicans' attempts to break the "social contract" of F. D. Roosevelt .
However, by mid-June 1995, President Clinton had dramatically changed his position and agreed with the idea of balancing the federal budget, but he put forward his plan that the federal budget should have been balanced at a slower pace over 10 years by 2005.
In October 1995, the United States entered the next fiscal year of 1996 without a draft federal budget approved by the president. Republicans, relying on the majority in Congress and skillfully using the political positions of Clinton and his administration, took the initiative to use the law to raise the upper limit of US public debt to put pressure on the Clinton administration and force it to accept the "budget of seven years" of Republicans essentially on capitulatory terms. The administration refused to do this.
On November 19, 1995, the administration of the White House and the republican leadership of the congress, nevertheless, a compromise was reached at the expense of certain concessions of the democrats. The administration agreed with the idea of seven years instead of the ten upheld by it earlier. This victory of the Republicans turned out to be Pirrova. Since the end of 1995, the administration moved into a decisive budget counteroffensive, which had a sharp impact on the Clinton rating, which increased, i.e. the majority of Americans in early 1996, the year of the next election of the US president, and was inclined to lay the main blame for the budget crisis on the republican leadership of the congress .
The victory of the Republicans in 1994 in the midterm elections made great changes in the implementation of Clinton's programs aimed at social need. For the first time, there was a paradoxical situation, when the president is a representative of a democratic party, and the legislative power passed into the hands of a republican one. The Republicans did not hesitate to say that they intend to liquidate the main parts of social expenditures in order to restore the balance of the financial budget.
In the social program of W. D. Clinton planned such programs as expanding the allocation for the production training of adolescents, expanding the system of maintaining childcare, creating additional jobs in the public sector for the unemployed. But even these insignificant programs Republicans considered a waste of money and in response put forward a shock therapy that provides for generally reducing expenditure for social needs. But this tactic of the Republicans led to the boomerang effect in the future - after braking Clinton's internal policy, this was reflected in the next US presidential election.
To justify partially not implemented domestic political promises, W. D. Clinton easily blamed on the republican congress, which was the main culprit of all the same unresolved problems. So W. D. Clinton, retaining the image of a political leader, and on the pre-election race in 1996, easily accused his contender R. Dole and his Republican Party of all those problems of the country's economy that the Clinton administration tried to solve in the first period of the presidential term . Thus, the victory of the Republicans in the midterm elections in 1994 played a negative role in the subsequent presidential election in 1996, when voters preferred Democratic nominee WD Clinton and re-elected him for a second term.
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