About Robert H. Michelhttp://www.robertmichel.name
Robert Henry "Bob" Michel - An American Republican Party politician who was a member of the United States House of Representatives for 38 years. Robert Henry "Bob" Michel (pronounced "Michael"; born March 2, 1923) represented central Illinois' 18th congressional district and was the GOP leader in Congress, serving as Minority Leader for 14 years (1981–1995) during an era of Democratic Party House dominance. He was also Minority Whip for 6 years (1975–1981). A graduate of Bradley University in Illinois, he was born and raised in Peoria, Illinois.
Michel on the Record
A Blueprint for Leadership: Office of the Republican Leader, April 16, 1993
This is a blueprint for House Republicans in the formulation, communication, and implementation of policy, for the 103rd Congress.
Bicentennial of The United States Congress, 1789-1989
To celebrate Congress Week 2015, The Dirksen Congressional Center has digitized the March 2, 1989, program “In Commemoration of The Bicentennial of The United States Congress, 1789-1989. In addition to listing the speakers who participated in the Special Joint Meeting of the One Hundred First Congress, the program included quotations under the listed headings. House Republican Leader Robert H. Michel delivered remarks at the event. His reading copy is also posted.
Michel Congressional Record Indexes
Indexes prepared by Michel’s staff to all references to him in the Congressional Record, 1957-1988. Searchable across years.
The Federal Budget FY1991
The battle over the fiscal 1991 budget – which pitted Democrats against Republicans and sometimes the Republicans against themselves – took the entire 1990 session, locked the leadership into seemingly endless meetings, periodically exploded into nasty partisan name-calling, and delayed action on other pressing legislation. Bob Michel’s Legislative Director, David Kehl, participated in many of the budget summit meetings in the summer of 1990. His files contain, for example, notes from meetings on June 7, 14, 19, 21, 27, 28, and 29, a good indication of the frenetic pace of negotiations.
How a Bill Becomes a Law: Writing Your Congressman
Bob Michel explains how laws are made and Morris K. Udall offer advice about writing members of Congress in this reprint from the Congressional Record.
Statements by Robert H. Michel upon his election as Republican Leader of the House, 1980-92, and the announcement in 1993 of his decision not to seek re-election to the House.
During the processing of Bob Michel's papers, staff discovered several copies of a compilation of quotes from Mr. Michel, bound in a red cover. The quotations are arranged, as they are in the booklet, alphabetically by subject.
The Republican Congress: A Manifesto for Change in the House of Representatives
In January 1992, the Republican minority issued a document designed to outline how the Republicans would govern should they obtain the majority. Fifteen Republicans contributed to the project, each writing an essay on a different topic. For example, Leader Michel entitled his, "What I Would Do as Speaker of the House."
Michel and His Presidents
As a member of the House of Representatives, Robert H. Michel served with nine presidents, from Dwight D. Eisenhower to Bill Clinton. In what he called his "Presidential Scrapbooks," Michel kept selected photographs and correspondence with each of the nine.
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Michel's contact with Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, and Lyndon Johnson was limited and perfunctory. In the case of Kennedy, for example, no unique documents appear in the scrapbooks. The selection reproduces what does exist for Eisenhower.
John F. Kennedy
The Michel scrapbooks contain only two items from Democrat John Kennedy’s presidential administration—not surprising given Michel’s relative junior status among House Republicans.
Lyndon B. Johnson
The relationship between Lyndon Johnson and Bob Michel took on a formal tone befitting their respective positions in government.
Michel's relationship with Richard Nixon arguably spanned the longest period. The selection posted here begins in 1956 and concludes the year Nixon died, 1994.
Gerald R. Ford
Michel and Gerald R. Ford (GRF) served together in the House of Representatives for nearly two decades. Both hailed from Midwestern states. Both rose in the House Republican leadership ranks. Both capped their House careers as the Minority Leader, although Michel preferred to be called “Republican Leader.” Photographs of the two together, and correspondence between them, exist throughout the Michel collection, but these selections come from the Presidential Scrapbooks.
Michel on YouTube & Photographs
YouTube: Tribute to Congressman Bob Michel
Bob Michel was honored for his public service and advocacy on behalf of veterans on April 21, 2011. A crowd of several hundred attended an event naming the Department of Veterans Affairs Clinic after the former Republican Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives. The three-minute, 22-second video clip provides basic biographical information about Michel.
YouTube: Personal Reflections From Congressman Ray LaHood & Congressman Bob Michel
On June 25, 2005, former House Republican Leader Bob Michel and his successor and former chief of staff, Ray LaHood, appeared at the Bertha Frank Performing Arts Center in Morton, Illinois, for an evening of "personal reflections" about their combined 50 years of service representing the 18th congressional district.
YouTube: A Bipartisan Inspiration
Yasha Kharrati is no ordinary 13-year old. In his talk, he tells us about his political idol and offers various solutions for a better government.
Photographs of Michel and with presidents.
Michel Special Projects
Abraham Lincoln and the Illinois Congressional District
As part of the Bicentennial Celebration of Abraham Lincoln, the Dirksen Congressional Center is pleased to present a version of the Lincoln legacy through the eyes of two members of Congress, Everett McKinley Dirksen and Robert H. Michel, who later represented the central Illinois congressional district that once sent Lincoln to the House of Representatives.
Anatomy of a Congressional Leadership Race
In December 1980, Republicans in the House of Representatives chose Robert H. Michel of Illinois as their leader, the Minority Leader of the House, a position he held until retiring in 1995. Anatomy of a Congressional Leadership Race uses historical materials contained in the Robert H. Michel Papers housed at The Dirksen Congressional Center in Pekin, Illinois, to describe the contest.
In the Shadow of Watergate: Bob Michel Becomes a Congressional Leader
An 8,000 word essay about Bob Michel's first contest for a formal leadership post in the House of Representatives, the chairmanship of the National Republican Congressional Committee, in 1973.
Michel Leadership Meeting Notes
This timeline presents the notes that House Republican Leader Bob Michel took during 87 meetings of the congressional leadership and the President, 1987-1992. Michel's notes tend to be cryptic. They list topics of discussion, usually associated with a speaker, but they do not capture the full flavor of the discussion and do not approximate verbatim minutes. We present this information in the form of a timeline. For each date, the timeline provides a link to a transcription of Michel's notes. In select cases we have included a scan of the handwritten version along with the transcription to demonstrate Michel's technique. There are instances, too, where links to ancillary documents exist—see May 2, 1989, for examples.