In a recent article in Medium, Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist outlined the importance of Republicans holding their current majorities in both houses of Congress. For the better part of 62 years, Democrats held the House and Senate, and Republicans focused solely on winning the Presidency. Norquist says of the Democrats’ stronghold on Congress:

Democrats were content to govern from Congress — driving tax policy, spending policy and directing the executive branch with appropriations riders requiring or forbidding how the president could spend money. Government grew. Entitlements created a European social welfare state untouchable by the executive branch.

In 1994, that all changed and Republicans won back the House and the Senate for the first time in more than 60 years, ushering in a new decade of economic growth and prosperity.

Republican Congress won a cut in the capital gains tax from 28% to 20%. They forced spending down from Clinton’s planned spending by more than $200 billion/year and balanced the budget. They enacted welfare reform, the first major entitlement reform.

Unfortunately, during the Bush years the Republican Congress put their agenda aside in favor of the President’s, and it cost them the Congress in 2006 and 2008. So while the Presidency is “second dessert,” Republicans and conservatives should focus on governing from Congress. 

You can read Norquist’s article here, and listen to his podcast below.