Americans for Tax Reform president, Grover Norquist, and Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich celebrated the 100th day of the Contract with America. Going into the 1994 elections no one believed the Republicans had a shot at overthrowing the 40-year Democratic reign in the House.
Gingrich’s vision to run on the Contract’s ten pillar promise revolutionized the approach to effective governance and proved that, when effectively communicated, voters will choose the candidates that run on free market principles.
The Contract contained commonsense proposals reinforcing ideals of the American Dream including personal responsibility, national security, and economic growth. Among the ten planks was the Fiscal Responsibility Act. If passed, the Act would have amended the Constitution to require a balanced budget, but unfortunately the Senate defeated the amendment by one vote. However, the legislation’s commitment to fiscal responsibility helped solidify the Contract’s legacy as a revolutionary approach to transparent governance.
On the 100th day Congress voted on term limits, the final item of the Contract. Though the amendment was rejected, the day was celebrated as Republicans made good on their promise to vote on every piece of legislation in the Contract within the first 100 days.