How Long Has The Government Shutdown Been (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 1 Day To 1 Week

Government Shutdown is the failure of the government to enact its partial or complete legislative functions. The reason behind that is because of lack of complete funding legislation for the government by Congress for the next fiscal year.

During the government shutdown, all the non-essential operations and furlough non-essential working operations get ceased. However, only essential working operations are active during the government shutdown. These active working operations include all the departments which ensure the safety of human life and the protection of property. For example, borderline army, police officers, fire brigade workers, doctors, and other such workers of operating departments are active during the government shutdown.

How Long Has The Government Shutdown Been?

In total, the total number of government shutdowns that have happened in the United States is 22. The time duration for how long the government shutdowns have been ranges from a wide variety. These government shutdowns can be as long as months to as short as an hour. There have been cases in the United States when the government shutdown did not last for more than an hour and also cases like when the government shutdowns have longed for months.

Here is a list of the most recent shutdowns that have been in the United States:

Government ShutdownsTime
December 22, 20201 day
October 1, 20201 day
December 22, 2020, to January 25, 201935 days
January 20 to January 22, 20183 days

The most recent government shutdown happened on December 22, 2020, and lasted for a day only. No employees were furloughed during this government shutdown.

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Another government shutdown happened on October 1, 2020, and lasted for a day only. No employees were furloughed during this government shutdown.

The next government shutdown happened for a huge time. It started on December 22, 2018, and lasted till January 25, 2019. This government shutdown lasted for a complete 35 days and all the non-essential employees were furloughed during this gap.

Another government shutdown happened on January 20, 2018, and ended on January 22, 2018. The government shutdown lasted for 3 days and all the non-essential employees were furloughed for 3 complete days.

Why Has The Government Shutdown Been That Long?

Though the main reason for the government shutdowns is because of the failure of funding for the government by Congress, there can however be many more reasons further categorized in this.

The most recent government shutdown that happened on December 22, 2020, was because a continuing resolution was passed by the house and senate on December 21. But, the president, Trump did not sign the resolution until the next day causing a short government shutdown.

The government shutdown that happened on October 1, 2020, happened because the continuing resolution was passed by the house on September 19 and by the Senate on September 30. However, the president, Trump failed to sign the bill as he returned from a campaign late at night and thus caused a short gap in funding.

The government shutdown that lasted for 35 days was a huge break and was the longest government shutdown that ever happened in the history of the United States. The reason behind that was the disputes caused over the resolution bill. The government shutdown began during the 115th meeting of the United States Congress and lasted till the 116th meeting of the Congress. The main dispute that was created was that the president, Donald Trump, demanded that the spending bills must include funding for a border wall. There were oppositions to this demand and could not reach an agreement. 

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The government shutdown that lasted for 3 days, that was from January 20, 2018, to January 22, 2018, happened because of disputes between republicans and democrats over the deferred actions for childhood arrivals. The main dispute was over the inclusion of immigrants’ protection in the bill. 

Conclusion

Government Shutdowns generally happen due to improper functioning of government. Although most government shutdowns do not last longer than a week, this short period can also cause many disturbances in the smooth functioning of citizens of the country. Common people face many difficulties during the government shutdowns. Thus, the government needs to ensure the proper functioning of the legislative and smooth passing of all such bills without any breaks.

References

  1. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/perspectives-on-politics/article/did-hamilton-jefferson-and-madison-cause-the-us-government-shutdown-the-institutional-path-from-an-eighteenth-century-republic-to-a-twentyfirst-century-democracy/62D755D3663822BCFFF20C63AB33F9BF
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022103114000389
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