What a difference a dozen years make.
When Republicans took control over the House of Representatives during a Democratic presidency 12 years ago, they were riding the Tea Party wave of populist anger over bailouts.
Yet despite a crowd of upstart newcomers, they managed to put on a united front when it came to electing the Speaker of the House. Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) won all of the GOP votes in the 112th Congress save one—his own, which he refused to cast for himself.
The Republican agenda at the time was infused with the Tea Party’s worry about debt and deficits that the U.S. government had taken on in the wake of the financial crisis and the Great Recession.
Although President Barack Obama’s 2009 stimulus package looks quite modest by the standards of the spending undertaken during the pandemic and in the first year of the Biden administration, at the time it was widely viewed by Republicans and independents who regarded themselves as fiscally responsible as alarming.