A History of Federal Government Shutdowns

 

Below is a list of last 21 United States Federal Government shutdowns since 1976, including the first government shutdowns of the Trump era.

List of Federal Government Shutdowns

 

Since 1976, there have been 21 Federal Government Shutdowns. These occur when the presidential administration and the Congress cannot agree on a suitable appropriations bill to keep the federal government funded.

The Federal Government Shutdown Scorecard by Presidential Administration is:

President Gerald Ford (R)=1 Shutdown over two and a half years

President Jimmy Carter(D)=5 Shutdowns over 4 years

President Ronald Reagan (R)=8 Shutdowns over 8 years

President George H.W. Bush (R)=1 Shutdowns over 4 years

President Bill Clinton (D)=2 Shutdowns over 8 years

President George W. Bush (R)=Zero Shutdowns over 8 years

President Barack Obama (D)=1 Shutdown over 8 years

President Donald Trump (R)=3 Shutdowns over 2 years, inlcuding the longest government shutdown in history

Year
Date Government Shutdown Began
Full day(s) of Government Shutdown
Date Government Shutdown Ended

Presidential Administration and Congressional Party Control

1976

Thursday 09-30-76

10

Monday 10-11-76

Ford (R); Senate (D), House (D)

1977

Friday 09-30-77

12

Thursday 10-13-17

Carter (D); Senate (D), House (D)

1977

Monday 10-31-77

8

Wednesday 11-09-77

Carter (D); Senate (D), House (D)

1977

Wednesday 11-30-77

8

Friday 12-09-77

Carter (D); Senate (D), House (D)

1978

Saturday 09-30-78

17

Wednesday 10-18-78

Carter (D); Senate (D), House (D)

1979

Sunday 09-30-79

11

Friday 10-12-79

Carter (D); Senate (D), House (D)

1981

Friday 11-20-81

2

Monday 11-23-81

Reagan (R); Senate (R), House (D)

1982

Thursday 9-30-82

1

Saturday 10-2-82

Reagan (R); Senate (R), House (D)

1982

Friday 12-17-82

3

Tuesday 12-21-82

Reagan (R); Senate (R), House (D)

1983

Thursday 11-10-83

3

Monday 11-14-83

Reagan (R); Senate (R), House (D)

1984

Sunday 9-30-84

2

Wednesday 10-3-84

Reagan (R); Senate (R), House (D)

1984

Wednesday 10-3-84

1

Friday 10-5-84

Reagan (R); Senate (R), House (D)

1986

Thursday 10-16-86

1

Saturday 10-18-86

Reagan (R); Senate (R), House (D)

1987

Friday 12-18-87

1

Sunday 12-20-87

Reagan (R); Senate (D), House (D)

1990

Friday 10-5-90

3

Tuesday 10-9-90

George H.W. Bush (R); Senate (D), House (D)

1995

Monday 11-13-95

5

Sunday 11-19-95

Clinton (D); Senate (R), House (R)

1995-1996

Friday December 15, 195

21

Saturday 1-6-96

Clinton (D); Senate (R), House (R)

2013

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

16

October 16, 2013

Obama (D); Senate (D), House (R)

2018

Saturday, January 20, 2018

3

January 22, 2018

Trump (R); Senate (R), House (R)

2018

Friday, February 9, 2018

1 (actually only nine hours)

February 9, 2018

Trump (R); Senate (R), House (R)

2018-2019

Saturday, December 22, 2018

TBD

Ongoing

Trump (R); Senate (R), House (R)

In, April, 2011, President Obama and the Republican leadeship in the House of Representatives managed to reach a budget agreement that prevented the first Federal Government Shutdown of the 21st Century.

However, by 2013, the ongoing budget and philosophical differences over Obamacare, resulted in an impasse between the Tea Party faction of the Republian-controlled House and the Obama White House. As a result, the first Federal government shutdown of the 21st Century began on October 1, 2013. Congress and President Obama took 16 days to resolve their differences and end the shutdown.

In January, 2018 in the first serious government shutdown threat of the Trump admistration arose, with various factions within the Republican Party, along with the minority Democrats, arguing over the budget, threatening a new shutdown. Roadblocks to a settlement included funding for President Trump's border wall, and the insistence by Democrats that protections for undocumented immigrants referred to as "Dreamers," be included in any bill. The House passed a three-week spending bill late on Friday, January 19, but the Senate did not follow suit, leading to a shutdown of the federal government at midnight. Ironically, the date the shutdown began, January 20, is the one-year anniversary of President Trump's inauguration.

The second "shutdown" of the Trump era came on February 9, 2018, with a funding gap. This gap in federal appropriations only lasted for nine hours, and occurred overnight, it is referred to as a federal government shutdown.

The third shutdown in 2018 began on Decemer 22, 2018, with a political deadlock over the budget, as President Trump and his supporters refused a deal that did not include nearly $5 billion for his proposed Mexican border wall. President Trump's chances for the House to appropriate any monies for the wall, which was a campaign promise of his, declines drastically after the new year, when a Democratic majority takes over the House. This partial shutdown turned into the longest Federal Government shutdown in history, as it extended into 2019. The leading Democratic leader, Nancy Pelosi, regained the Speakership of the House and engaged in verbal battles with President Trump over the shutdown.

Source: The Congressional Research Service Report 98-844: Shutdown of the Federal Government:

Causes, Effects, and Process

 


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