Political compromises in U.S. history

Published 3:13 PM ET, Thu October 17, 2013
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Connecticut delegates Roger Sherman, left, and Oliver Ellsworth drafted the Great Compromise, a plan for congressional representation, in 1787. Without this, there likely would have been no Constitution. Many more compromises have followed in U.S. political history. Universal History Archive/Getty Image
In 1964, a civil rights bill proposed by congressional Democrats was opposed by Republican senators and led to one of the longest filibusters in Senate history. Eventually, Majority Leader Hubert Humphrey, second from left, reached out to his Republican counterpart Sen. Everett Dirksen, second from right, to put an end to the debate. The bill passed nine days later. Francis Miller//Time Life Pictures/Getty Images
Pamphlets and brochures tell participants about the U.S. food stamp program in 1977. The Food Stamp Act had not been universally welcomed since its inception in the early 1960s, and Republican Sen. Bob Dole and Democratic Sen. George McGovern joined forces to support a bipartisan compromise. The revised law was enacted in 1977. Denver Post/Getty
President Ronald Reagan, right, shakes hands with House Speaker Tip O'Neill during the State of the Union address in 1986. The two men had battled bitterly over Social Security reform until amendments were made to the Social Security Act in 1983. Terry Ashe/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
Reagan, surrounded by politicians, signs the Tax Reform Act of 1986. Democrats and Republicans sharply disagreed on how to amend the tax code, but both sides eventually compromised. Terry Ashe/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
President Bill Clinton, second from left, and Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott, third from left, listen to House Speaker Newt Gingrich in the White House Cabinet Room in February 1996. Clinton and Democrats worked with Gingrich, Lott and other Republicans that year to pass landmark welfare reform. David Hume Kennerly/Getty Image