All About US Government Shutdowns

All About US Government Shutdowns

Hannah McDonough, Editor

You’ve probably heard about the partial US government shutdown that has been going on for a little less than five weeks. According to USA Today, it is the longest shutdown in US history. But last Friday, the shutdown temporarily ended for three weeks. This shutdown originally started because Congress and President Trump could not agree on a budget. President Trump wanted money for a border wall that wasn’t in the budget, but Congress did not want it.

Why Is The Government Temporarily Opened?

Congress and President Trump still haven’t agreed, so why is the government open again? The government shutdown was causing a lot of trouble for government workers. They were not getting paid, even if they still went to work. They even had to get donations and some military bases set up food pantries. Most national parks and monuments are closed, but the few that remained open were highly unsupervised with few employees. The general public was getting affected by this disagreement.

According to The New York Times, 800,000 federal workers were being forced to work without pay. The government will be opened until Feb. 15, which allows those employees to be paid. Mr. Trump said that either he will use his powers given to him or the government will shutdown again on Feb. 15 if Congress and him do not agree about the wall.

Past Government Shutdowns

According to ThoughtCo., there are 21 government shutdowns in US history, including the current one. Here are a few of those shutdowns (View the whole list here):

Sept. 30 – Oct. 11, 1976

Under President Gerald Ford, a shutdown occurred in 1976. Mr. Ford had vetoed a funding bill.

Sept. 30 – Oct. 2, 1982

President Ronald Reagon and Congress had social engagements, which lead to a missed deadline for a spending bill.

Oct. 5 – Oct. 9, 1990

President George H. W. Bush pledged a veto, which the House tried to override, but failed, causing a shutdown.

Nov. 13 – Nov. 19, 1995

Bill Clinton was president. Newt Gingrich, the speaker of the House at the time, said to Clinton that if he didn’t approve cuts to Medicare and Medicaid, then Gingrich would shut down the government.

Oct. 1 – Oct. 17, 2013

President Barack Obama was president when this shutdown occurred. Basically, the House Republicans and House Democrats could not come to an agreement over a funding bill.


But none of these were as long as our most recent shutdown. This shutdown has made history with 35 days!

In the end, government shutdowns have caused a lot of trouble for many people. Though there have been 21 total government shutdowns, this one beats them all. And it may or may not be over just yet.