When was the last time the POTUS had a majority in Congress?

I need this info for a dispute with an acquaintance who is telling me that Obama will be the first President to have control of the Congress (Democratic pres, democratic Congress). He insists that throughout history, the President has always had the opposite party control the Congress ensuring a balance of power. I know this is false but I can’t seem to find a cite or a chart that compares the president’s party affiliation with that of the congress. I could swear George W. Bush had a Republican Congress at one point…

Can any of you smart people hook me up with a cite? TIA


Although it was shaky, because there was essentially a tie in the Senate.

Here’s a chart: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidents_and_control_of_congress

Results of the 2004 Election:

George W. Bush re-elected with 50.73% of the vote, 53% of the electoral college.
Republican party wins 53% of the house of representatives and increases to 55/100 senate seats.

Gfactor’s table is good. You can also compare lists of Senate majority leaders and speakers of the House to see that the president and both houses of Congress have been of the same party in these periods –

Bush: 2003-2007; January-June 2001
Clinton: 1993-1995
Carter: 1977-1981
Johnson: 1963-1969
Kennedy: 1961-1963
Truman: 1945-1947
Roosevelt: 1933-1945

… Okay, I’ll stop there. I think the point has been made.

A bit off-topic, but it’s perhaps worth reiterating that the President has no control of Congress even when they’re from the same party. Longtime Congresspeople and Senators have strong power bases of their own. Thus, the Democratic Congress was generally quite hostile to the Carter administration, for instance.

It’s true that Congress often has its own agendas and interests. However, its also true that Congress has become far more ideological and partisan than ever in the past.

Both parties used to have a spectrum of members from conservative to liberal. The “solid south” that the Democrats controlled from after the Civil War until the Civil Rights Act was extremely conservative in the terms of the day, and a Democratic president could often expect opposition from them.

Rockefeller Republicans represented the liberal wing of the Republican party. They were mostly from the northeast and were bitter foes with the conservative wing once represented by Taft and McCarthy, neither of whom got along well with one another either.

Changing demographics have mostly obliterated these ends of the parties. The Democrats lost the south to the Republicans. Although a few house candidates have won because they presented themselves as conservative Democrats, virtually the entire Congressional slate is moderate to liberal.

And the Republicans have been wiped out in the northeast, There is not a single Republican representative in the New England states or in New York east of the Hudson River. The entirety of Congressional Republicans are moderate to conservative.

Without the need to placate one wing of the party, any president today can expect almost full support from his party and almost full opposition from the other on every important issue. It’s always been good for a president to have his party in control of Congress. These days it’s utterly crucial. The world has changed and the parties are more divisive but less diverse than I’ve ever seen them.