Big Five: Longest government shutdowns

Big Five: Longest government shutdowns

October 1st, 2013 by Dave Flessner in Business Around the Region

The entrance to the Senate is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington.

The entrance to the Senate is seen on...

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

The federal government has previously shut down 17 times in the past four decades. The longest shutdowns were:

• 1. December 16, 1995 to January 6, 1996, 21-day dispute between President Clinton and the Republican House over budget deficit projections.

• 2. September 30 to October 18, 1978, 18-day dispute over President Carter's veto of a bill funding a a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and additional disputes over Medicaid funding for abortion.

• 3. September 30 to October 13, 1977, 12-day dispute between the House and Senate over Medicaid dollars for abortion.

• 4. September 30 to October 12, 1979, 11-day dispute between the Senate and House over pay raises for Congress and abortion spending.

• 5. September 30 to October 11, 1976, 10-day dispute between President Ford and Congress over social spending.

Prior to 1980, most government agencies kept operating without a budget. But in 1980 and 1981, Attorney General Benjamin R. Civiletti issued two opinions that more strictly interpreted the Antideficiency Act to limit what operations are "essential" and may continue without a budget

Source: A Brief History Of Federal Government Shutdown, Outside the Beltway. April 2011.