Government Shutdowns . . . What about them?

Jan. 18, 2019
U.S. Capitol Building

As of the writing of this blog post (1/14/19) we are 24 days into the partial shutdown of our federal government. This is the longest shutdown in U.S. history. The next closest was 21 days in 1995-1996 under President Bill Clinton. I found myself wondering why shutdowns happen, what circumstances lead to them, when have they happened, and how long have they lasted. And, what impact does this have on people, communities, and the economy?

Governmental shutdowns occur when disagreements over programs, policies, approaches, expenditures, etc. between the various elected bodies cannot be resolved. This “deadlock” can result in Congress failing to pass appropriation bills/continuing resolutions or the President refusing to sign such bills or resolutions. Since 1976 there have been 22 “gaps” in federal funding. Shutdowns can also occur at the state, territory, and local level, but this blog post will focus only on the federal government.

Read Myra Moss' complete blog article to find out why shutdowns happen, the impacts of government shutdowns - local and national, and the history of government shutdowns since 1980.

Myra Moss Myra Moss, associate professor and Extension educator, OSU Extension – Community Development