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.
|from The Highway Robber, #1 in Rolling Stone's The Ten Worst Congressmen:|
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"