December 4, 2016 6:33 am

The History Of Government Shutdowns

The US government shutdown of 2013 is only the latest of government shutdowns. Since 1976, when the modern congressional budgeting process took effect, a total of 17 separate government shutdowns have taken place.

These “spending gaps”, in Hill jargon, are unique from one another in terms of political circumstances, experiences and the subsequent consequences. The last shutdown before 2013 was in 1995 when Bill Clinton was president and the Republicans controlled both, the Senate and the House. It lasted over a span of 5 days because the GOP-run Congress sent Clinton a continuing resolution that he vetoed, triggering the shutdown. The resolution has basically raised the Medicare premiums, curtailed environmental regulations and committed the president to balance the budget within seven years among other provisions. The shutdown finally came to an end when Clinton, Dole (majority leader of the Senate) and Gingrich (speaker of the House) came to an agreement that the government would be funded at 75% level for 4 weeks while the budget negotiations continued. Also, Clinton agreed to stick to seven year timeline to balance the budget.

During George H.W. Bush’s reign as president in 1990, another shutdown occurred lasting 3 days. Democrats controlled both the Senate and the House with George Mitchell as the majority leader of the Senate and Tom Foley as the speaker of the House. Bush stated that he would’ve signed any continuing resolution until and unless it came along with a plan to reduce the deficit and stuck to his word by vetoing one of the resolutions that came by his desk. It was only after the House and the Senate adopted a joint budget resolution outlining a plan for the reduction of the deficit did the president sign the continuing resolution.

These are only two of the latest shutdowns before the one in October 2013. During Reagen’s tenure, there were a total of 8 shutdowns that occurred over the span of 1981 to 1987. That means 8 shutdowns in 8 years. Half of those shutdowns lasted only a day with the longest one lasting 3 days.

For more news on recent government shutdowns, keep visiting us.

By G+ Author: Elizabeth Steinfeldt.