Here’s how many times the federal government has shut down


There have been 21 shutdowns of the federal government in the past five decades. Congress has until 30 September to pass a series of spending bills, or to come up with a temporary plan to avoid a 22nd shutdown. A government shutdown could result in the suspension of non-essential functions, such as social insurance and SNAP benefits. It would also mean that millions of federal workers wouldn’t receive their pay during the shutdown. The upcoming deadline has caused divisions among the House Republicans. Multiple GOP factions have different demands. Some GOP House members are even threatening to hold a vote on removing House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.), from his leadership role. Here are the 21 shutdowns that the federal government experienced. Year: 2019

President Donald Trump

The longest government shutdown in U.S. History lasted 35 days between December 2018 and January 2019. The shutdown was caused by the former president’s demand for funding a wall along the U.S. Mexico border. Democrat legislators strongly opposed this. The shutdown ended after Trump signed a short-term budget bill to reopen government. Year: 2018

President Donald Trump

One shutdown of three that occurred during Trump’s tenure lasted only several hours. The shutdown was caused by Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-Ky.). He repeatedly blocked the Senate from voting on an agreement for a budget of two years, which included extending federal funding. The Senate passed the bill on the following day. This government shutdown lasted only three days. This shutdown was caused by Democrats refusing to vote on spending measures until Congress reached an agreement regarding protections for children under DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival), which is a program that prohibits deportation for unauthorized migrants who entered the U.S. when The only shutdown that occurred during the tenure of former President Obama at the White House lasted only 17 days. Bill Clinton was president of the United States during the almost three-week shutdown.

Year: 1996

President Bill Clinton

The second government shutdown to happen under the Clinton administration lasted for 21 days, the previous record holder for the longest shutdown in U.S. history.

The shutdown stemmed from differences between Clinton and House Republicans on whether to use data from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) or the Office of Management and Budget to figure out if the White House budget plan would balance, according to Vox.

Year: 1995

President: Bill Clinton

The first government shutdown to happen under the Clinton administration only lasted for five days, as Clinton vetoed a continuing resolution from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.) and late Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole (R-Kan.) which included increases to Medicare premiums, rollbacks of environmental regulations and a requirement to balance the budget within seven years. George H.W. Bush

The only shutdown that occurred under the Bush administration lasted for four days, as he vetoed a stopgap spending bill. Bush

The only shutdown to happen under the Bush administration only lasted for four days, as the then president vetoed a stopgap spending bill, according to the New York Times.

Year: 1987

President: Ronald Reagan

This government shutdown only lasted a day when Reagan and Democrats couldn’t see eye-to-eye on potential funding for the “Contra” militants in Nicaragua, as Democrats also pushed for reinstating the Fairness Doctrine, a Federal Communications Commission rule which requires broadcasters to give people equal time to share their perspectives on political issues.

Year: 1986

President: Ronald Reagan

This shutdown only lasted for a day as House Democrats tried to push for an expansion for the then Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) program, which Reagan and a then Republican-controlled Senate disagreed on. This shutdown only lasted a day, as Reagan and Democrats were able to settle their differences over the Crime Bill, Civil Rights Bill and Water Projects proposal. Democrats also agreed to temporary funding to Nicaragua’s anti-communist Contra guerrillas.

Year: 1984 President: Ronald Reagan

This shutdown, which lasted for two days, coincided with the one that happened a few days later. House Democrats were pushing for water projects at the same time, and legislation to reverse a Supreme Court decision that allowed colleges and universities who did not receive federal funding but had students that did. The spending extension of three days was passed in order to give both sides more time to negotiate.

Year: 1983

President: Ronald Reagan

This shutdown lasted for three days as Reagan and House Democrats butted heads over issues such as education funding, more aid to Israel and Egypt, less aid to Syria and El Salvador and less defense spending.

Both sides came to an agreement in the following days.

Year: 1982

President: Ronald Reagan

This shutdown lasted for three days as Reagan threatened to veto the House and Senate’s push for a public works jobs program, in an effort to create more jobs in the country. The House also opposed funding the MX missile program and the Pershing II program, both of which were Reagan’s top defense priorities. The first of eight shutdowns that occurred during the Reagan administration lasted only two days. Reagan vetoed the spending bill for not having enough cuts. This government shutdown lasted only 11 days. The House and Senate chambers discussed higher salaries for civil service and congressional staff, and funding for abortions in cases of rape or incest.

Year: 1978

President: Jimmy Carter

This shutdown lasted for 17 days, when Carter vetoed a defense spending bill because it funded a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, which he thought was wasteful and other proposed projects he was opposed to. This shutdown lasted eight days while Democrats and Republicans argued over abortion funding.

Year: 1977

President: Jimmy Carter

This shutdown lasted for eight days as Carter had to sign a short-term extension as Congress was still debating over abortion funding. The first of five shutdowns that occurred during the Carter administration lasted only 12 days. This was due to a disagreement between the Senate and House chambers over funding for abortions. The House, however, insisted that the ban remain strict. This was the first of three government shutdowns that occurred during the Carter Administration, and were known as “abortion shut downs.” Gerald Ford was President at the time.