Jump to: navigation, search
Government Shutdowns in the 1990s
==Government Shutdowns in the 1990s==
The first shutdown of the 1990s occurred during George H Bush's term from October 6-8th 1990. This shutdown was very minor in that it only affected a few thousand employees, with mostly national park and museum employees affected, with a cost to the economy between $2-3 million. In large part, this was because the shutdown occurred over a holiday period. The main dispute was Bush's desire to increase taxes and make major reductions to Medicare. Eventually, he and Congress compromised by not making large tax increases, with only wealthy individuals seeing their taxes rise, and reductions to government spending proposed were reduced. The most significant period of government shutdowns in the 1990s occurred between 1995-96, during the presidency of Bill Clinton. The first shutdown lasted from November 14-19 1995. At the time, this was the longest shutdown and led to a furloughing of more than 800,000 government employees. Congress under Newt Gingrich's leadership wanted to make large cuts to the federal budget. The second and even more significant shutdown was due to unresolved disputes in the federal budget between Gingrich and Clinton, where this second shutdown lasted from December 161995-January 9 1996. This second shutdown was the most significant in terms of its length and arguably politicized shutdowns more than prior shutdownswith both sides having strident comments about the other. For Gingrich, his comments and actions reflected poorly for him in the polls, while for Clinton his popularity increased after this period and arguably helped him get reelected in 1996. The second shutdown in 1995 led to the furloughing of about 284,000 employees (Figure 2).<ref>For more on the government shutdowns of the 1990s, see: Schier, S. E. (Ed.). (2000). <i>The postmodern presidency: Bill Clinton’s legacy in U.S. politics</i>. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press. </ref>
One result of the 1995-96 shutdown, and because it was long-lived, was that shutdowns began to be seen as politically costly for the major parties. This effectively meant that both parties tried to avoid shutdowns in the subsequent years after 1996 and this helped to avoid any shutdowns throughout the 2000s and the period of George W. Bush's presidency. However, appropriation disputes often continued and the threat of shutdowns was often used.
[[File:Ap 126625286891 custom-f3c16057c80a180f23b215d389d5efbf44b05327-s800-c85.jpg|thumb|Figure 2. The long government shutdown between 1995 and 1996 may have led to the Republican's defeat in the 1996 elections. ]]

Navigation menu