Presidents tend to set the agenda for their parties. Most of the party’s members of Congress tend to go along.
This has been increasingly the case as Americans over the last two decades have got out of the habit of splitting their tickets and have voted, in proportions not seen since the 1940s, entirely for candidates of one party or the other.
When Barack Obama first took the oath of office in January 2009, his fellow Democrats, with their large majorities in Congress, hurried to pass his key legislation.
The $787 billion stimulus package was passed in February. In June, the House of Representatives passed cap-and-trade legislation intended to reduce carbon emissions.