Government shutdowns: A look back at modern 'funding gaps'

When the clock strikes midnight, the US government could shut down in historic fashion.If a deal isn't reached...

Posted: Jan 20, 2018 11:19 AM
Updated: Jan 20, 2018 11:19 AM

When the clock strikes midnight, the US government could shut down in historic fashion.

If a deal isn't reached, it will be the first modern shutdown with Congress and the White House controlled by the same party.

The last shutdown occurred in 2013 during the Obama administration

When Ronald Reagan was in office, there were three partial shutdowns

While some form of a government shutdown occurred during the Obama, Clinton, HW Bush, and Reagan administrations, these occurred while Democrats and Republicans split control of the White House and at least one chamber of Congress.

The last shutdown occurred during the Obama administration. It lasted 16 days, from October 1, 2013 to October 17, 2013. The Democrats had control of the White House and the Senate, while the Republicans controlled of the House.

During the Clinton administration, there were two shutdowns. The first lasted five days, from November 14 to November 19, 1995. The second lasted 21 full days, from December 16, 1995 to January 5, 1996. It was the longest shutdown in history. At the time, Democrats controlled the White House, while Republicans controlled the House and Senate.

The only shutdown during George H.W. Bush's administration occurred during the three days of Columbus Day weekend from October 6 to October 9, 1990. At the time, Republicans controlled the White House, while Democrats controlled both the House and Senate.

When Ronald Reagan was in office, there were three partial shutdowns in 1981, 1984, and 1986. These resulted in mostly half-day layoffs of federal workers. Republicans had the White House and Senate during these times, while Democrats controlled the House.

'Funding gaps' before Reagan

The government didn't face shutdowns as we know them before the 1980s. When there was a funding gap, employees continued work as usual under the assumption Congress would pass a measure.

During Jimmy Carter's administration, when Democrats controlled the White House and all of Congress, there were five spending gaps between 1977 -- 1979 that lasted at least eight days each.

Carter's Attorney General, Benjamin Civiletti, issued new guidelines in 1980 and 1981 under the Antideficiency Act, instructing federal agencies to limit work to only essential operations and obligations during funding gaps.

Under the law, he said, if the government didn't have money from Congress, it would not be allowed to function.

Without those stricter guidelines, the government could -- and frequently did -- function without funds to pay their expenditures.

Civiletti's interpretation of the law in 1980 changed that. He issued his first ruling in the midst of a standoff over funding for the Federal Trade Commission.

Congress failed to pass an authorization bill before their old one ended, leaving them without money after April 30, 1980. According to The Washington Post, federal agents came to some regional offices with an order for employees to cease operations.

Without funds, the FTC closed its doors to confusion and frustration among its over 1,000 employees on May 1, 1980. Congress took note and quickly passed an authorization bill that day, which Carter signed in the evening, and the Commission opened its doors the next day.

Thus began the modern-day shutdown.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 319948

Reported Deaths: 7371
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22285267
Hinds20719421
Harrison18431317
Rankin13901282
Jackson13718248
Madison10263224
Lee10059176
Jones8467167
Forrest7832153
Lauderdale7261242
Lowndes6517150
Lamar635188
Lafayette6313121
Washington5425137
Bolivar4841133
Panola4670110
Oktibbeha466198
Pearl River4605147
Marshall4574105
Warren4440121
Pontotoc425873
Monroe4157135
Union415777
Neshoba4063179
Lincoln4008112
Hancock386987
Leflore3515125
Tate342486
Sunflower339491
Pike3371111
Alcorn327272
Scott320374
Yazoo314171
Adams308086
Itawamba305178
Copiah299966
Coahoma298784
Simpson298589
Tippah291968
Prentiss284161
Leake272074
Marion271280
Covington267283
Wayne264642
Grenada264087
George252251
Newton248663
Tishomingo231868
Winston230181
Jasper222148
Attala215073
Chickasaw210559
Holmes190474
Stone188433
Clay187954
Tallahatchie180041
Clarke178980
Calhoun174132
Yalobusha167840
Smith164134
Walthall135347
Greene131834
Lawrence131124
Montgomery128643
Noxubee128034
Perry127238
Amite126242
Carroll122330
Webster115032
Jefferson Davis108234
Tunica108127
Claiborne103130
Benton102325
Humphreys97533
Kemper96629
Franklin85023
Quitman82216
Choctaw79118
Wilkinson69632
Jefferson66228
Sharkey50917
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 548657

Reported Deaths: 11306
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson810031566
Mobile42105831
Madison35690525
Tuscaloosa26173458
Shelby25607254
Montgomery25081614
Baldwin21868314
Lee16278176
Calhoun14719327
Morgan14629285
Etowah14175364
Marshall12453230
Houston10781287
Elmore10293214
Limestone10179157
St. Clair10162251
Cullman9952201
Lauderdale9603250
DeKalb8972190
Talladega8460184
Walker7338280
Autauga7241113
Blount6945139
Jackson6932113
Colbert6413140
Coffee5635127
Dale4928116
Russell454841
Chilton4476116
Franklin431382
Covington4275122
Tallapoosa4138155
Escambia401680
Chambers3728124
Dallas3607158
Clarke353061
Marion3240107
Pike314378
Lawrence3133100
Winston283472
Bibb268564
Geneva257981
Marengo250565
Pickens236962
Barbour234559
Hale227278
Butler224271
Fayette218862
Henry194543
Randolph187544
Cherokee187345
Monroe180041
Washington170539
Macon163051
Clay160059
Crenshaw155957
Cleburne153444
Lamar146837
Lowndes142254
Wilcox126930
Bullock124342
Conecuh113630
Coosa111729
Perry108626
Sumter105732
Greene93634
Choctaw62125
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Tropical Depression Claudette has now moved into Alabama and Georgia, leaving with some cloud cover but dry conditions. Most of us will stay dry through this Father's Day but some spotty showers will likely through the late afternoon.
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