Government Shutdowns in the United States


Government shutdowns, in United States politics, refer to a funding gap period that causes a full or partial shutdown of federal government operations and agencies.

This article aims to describe the extent of operations and processes of governments around the world at all levels.

The lowdown on the US government shutdown | What's Going On? by ABC News (Australia)


They are caused when there is a failure to pass a funding legislation to finance the government for its next fiscal year andor protection of property.

So why HAS the US government shut down? - BBC News by BBC News


Voluntary services in these respective essential areas may only be accepted during emergencies.


As of 9 March 2019, since the enactment of the US government's current budget and appropriations process in 1976, there have been a total of 22 funding gaps in the federal budget, of which 10 of these have led to federal employees being furloughed; shutdowns are also possible at occurring within and disrupting state, territorial, and local levels of government.

In the United States, a furlough is a temporary leave of employees due to special needs of a company, which may be due to economic conditions at the specific employer or in the economy as a whole.

The United States federal civil service is the civilian workforce of the United States federal government's departments and agencies.


Prior to 1980, funding gaps did not always lead to full or partial government shutdowns, until Attorney General Benjamin Civiletti issued his legal opinion on funding gaps in accordance with the Antideficiency Act, which defined his interpretation of what federal agencies should do during funding gaps until the enactment of an appropriation bill and what exceptions were allowed during this period.

The Antideficiency Act is legislation enacted by the United States Congress to prevent the incurring of obligations or the making of expenditures in excess of amounts available in appropriations or funds.

Benjamin Richard Civiletti served as the United States Attorney General during the Carter administration, from 1979 to 1981.


Since 1981, the practice has been to shut down the government when a funding gap occurs, though not all funding gaps since Civiletti's opinions have contributed to a shutdown - for example, a funding gap that occurred for nine hours on 9 February 2018 did not result in a shutdown of the government.


Some of the most significant shutdowns in US history have included: three major shutdowns in the 1980s during the Presidential term of Ronald Reagan over opposition to proposal against his political beliefs; the 21-day shutdown of 1995-1996 during the Presidential term of Bill Clinton over opposition to major spending cuts; the 16-day shutdown in 2013 during the Presidential term of Barack Obama caused by an argument between Democrats and Republicans over measures concerning the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; and the 35-day shutdown of 2018-2019 during the Presidential term of Donald Trump, the longest shutdown in US history, caused by a refusal from Democrats to approve funding a new US–Mexico border wall.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly called the Affordable Care Act and nicknamed Obamacare, is a United States federal statute enacted by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010.

Ronald Wilson Reagan was an American politician and actor who served as the 40th President of the United States from 1981 to 1989.

Donald John Trump is an American businessman, television personality, politician, and the 45th President of the United States.


The effect of shutdowns include the disruption of government services and programmes, the closure of national parks and institutions, the loss of revenue within specific sectors such as government contracts, a significant reduction in economic growth, and costing the government millions to compensate for lost labour and the eventual restarting of federal operations.


During the 2013 shutdown, Standard & Poor's, the financial ratings agency, stated on October 16 that the shutdown had "to date taken $24 billion out of the economy", and "shaved at least 0.6 percent off annualized fourth-quarter 2013 GDP growth".

Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC is an American financial services company.

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