Legislation's long road

Monday, March 22, 2010; A12

It took 14 months for President Obama to win passage of the health-care reform bill. How does that compare with the timelines of major social policy legislation under other presidents? Here's a look:

Number of months to win passage of bill after becoming president:

Barack Obama

14 months for health-care reform

(March 2010)

Lyndon Johnson

20 months for Medicare

(July 1965)

Franklin Roosevelt

29 months for Social Security

(August 1935)

Note: Bill Clinton's health-care bill was presented

to Congress on Nov. 20, 1993, 10 months

after he took office, and was declared dead

in September 1994, 20 months after he became president.

Congressional majorities at time of passage:


60 Democratic senators*,

258 Democratic House members


68 Democratic senators,

295 Democratic House members


69 Democratic senators,

329 Democratic House members**

*Includes two independents. The Senate vote took place before Democrats lost a special election in Massachusetts.

**Includes seven members of the Wisconsin Progressive Party.

SOURCE: Washington Post research

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