“The Fabulous 56” is how they were known by many — the 54 freshman Republicans who rode into the U.S. House in 1980 as Ronald Reagan swept into the presidency (and two more in special elections the following year) as Republicans unexpectedly won the Senate for the first time since 1954.
The Republicans who came into the 93rd Congress were inarguably a class of consequence, historians and reporters who covered them agree.
This past weekend, the “Class of ’80” held a reunion on Capitol Hill. With 36 of them living and two still in the House (Chris Smith of New Jersey and Kentucky’s Hal Rogers), 20 of them convened for a dinner Friday night and discussion Saturday at the Ronald Reagan Foundation and Institute on Saturday.
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