Dennis Hastert was Republican Speaker of the House from 1999-2006 (the closing years of the Clinton administration and the first 6 years of the Bush II administration), following Newt Gingrich. The Republicans were defeated in the 2006-11 US election and Democrat Nancy Pelosi became Speaker for the 110th US Congress.
Hastert could well be the weakest House speaker in history. Tapped by Tom DeLay to serve as the mild-mannered frontman for the GOP leadership, the former wrestling coach ceded most of his power to the now-disgraced majority leader, allowing Republicans to treat the Capitol as their private piggy bank. Last year, Hastert got in on the action himself, secretly inserting $207 million into the budget for the "Prairie Parkway" – a highway that will speed development of 210 acres he owns in Illinois. Before the year was out, Hastert sold part of his land – soon to be the site of a sprawling subdivision – for a profit of $2 million.
Livingston was succeeded by Dennis Hastert, perhaps the most, well, conventional of the GOP leaders of his era. Still, Hastert was a hawk with no military service and a defender of the rich with no money or experience in business.
- 2009-05-04 [Talk|Index] In Congress We Trust... Not § “The people do indeed look at Washington and know that this city is 'badly' broken ... Activists scream about promised hearings that never took place – without explanation. They express outrage when investigations are dropped without any justification. And they genuinely wonder out loud why, especially after they helped secure a major victory for the Democrats.”