Since 1976, when the United States budget process was revised by the Budget Act of 1974 the United States Federal Government has had funding gaps on 18 occasions: Funding gaps did not lead to government shutdowns prior to 1980 when President Carter requested opinions from Attorney General Benjamin Civiletti on funding gaps and the Anti-Deficiency Act. His first opinion said that all government work must stop if Congress does not agree to pay for it. He later issued a second opinion that allowed essential government services to continue in the absence of a spending bill.
Year Start date (exclusive) End date (exclusive) Total days of funding gap Government Shutdown during Funding Gap? President Senate House Circumstances
1976 Sep 30 Oct 11 10 No Ford Dem Dem Citing out of control spending, President Gerald Ford vetoed a funding bill for the United States Department of Labor and the United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW), leading to a partial government shutdown. On October 1, the Democratically-controlled Congress overrode Ford's veto but it took until October 11 for a continuing resolution ending funding gaps for other parts of government to become law.
1977 Sep 30 Oct 13 12 No Carter Dem Dem The Democratically-controlled House continued to uphold the ban on using Medicaid dollars to pay for abortions, except in cases where the life of the mother was at stake. Meanwhile, the Democratic-controlled Senate pressed to loosen the ban to allow abortion funding in the case of rape or incest. A funding gap was created when disagreement over the issue between the houses had become tied to funding for the Departments of Labor and HEW, leading to a partial government shutdown. A temporary agreement was made to restore funding through October 31, 1977, allowing more time for Congress to resolve its dispute.
1977 Oct 31 Nov 9 8 No Carter Dem Dem The earlier temporary funding agreement expired. President Jimmy Carter signed a second funding agreement to allow for more time for negotiation.
1977 Nov 30 Dec 9 8 No Carter Dem Dem The second temporary funding agreement expired. The House held firm against the Senate in its effort to ban Medicaid paying for the abortions of victims of statutory rape. A deal was eventually struck allowing Medicaid to pay for abortions in cases resulting from rape, incest, or in which the mother's health is at risk.
1978 Sep 30 Oct 18 18 No Carter Dem Dem Deeming them wasteful, President Carter vetoed a public works appropriations bill and a defense bill including funding for a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. Spending for the Department of HEW was also delayed over additional disputes concerning Medicaid funding for abortion.
1979 Sep 30 Oct 12 11 No Carter Dem Dem Against the opposition of the Senate, the House pushed for a 5.5 percent pay increase for Congress members and senior civil servants. The House also sought to restrict federal spending on abortion only to cases where the mother's life is in danger, while the Senate wanted to maintain funding for abortions in cases of rape and incest.
1981 Nov 20 Nov 23 2 Yes Reagan Rep Dem President Ronald Reagan pledged that he would veto any spending bill that failed to include at least half of the $8.4 billion in domestic budget cuts that he proposed. Although the Republican controlled Senate passed a bill that met his specifications, the Democratically controlled House insisted on larger cuts to defense than Reagan wanted as well as pay raises for Congress and senior civil servants. A compromise bill fell $2 billion short of the cuts Reagan wanted, so Reagan vetoed the bill and shut down the federal government. A temporary bill restored spending through December 15 and gave Congress the time to work out a more lasting deal.
1982 Sep 30 Oct 2 1 Yes Reagan Rep Dem Congress passed the required spending bills a day late.
1982 Dec 17 Dec 21 3 Yes Reagan Rep Dem The House and Senate wished to fund job programs, but President Reagan vowed to veto any such legislation. The House also opposed plans to fund the MX missile. The shutdown ended after Congress abandoned their jobs plan, but Reagan was forced to yield on funding for both the MX and Pershing II missiles. He also accepted funding for the Legal Services Corporation, which he wanted abolished, in exchange for higher foreign aid to Israel.
1983 Nov 10 Nov 14 3 Yes Reagan Rep Dem The House increased education funding but cut defense and foreign aid spending, which led to a dispute with President Reagan. Eventually, the House reduced their proposed education funding, and also accepted funding for the MX missile. However, the foreign aid and defense cuts remained, and oil and gas leasing was banned in federal wildlife refuges. Abortion was also prohibited from being paid for with government employee health insurance.
1984 Sep 30 Oct 3 2 Yes Reagan Rep Dem The House wished to link the budget to both a crime-fighting package President Reagan supported and a water projects package he did not. The Senate additionally tied the budget to a civil rights measure designed to overturn Grove City v. Bell. Reagan proposed a compromise where he abandoned his crime package in exchange for Congress dropping the water projects package. A deal was not struck, and a three-day spending extension was passed instead.
1984 Oct 3 Oct 5 1 Yes Reagan Rep Dem The October 3 spending extension expired, forcing a shutdown. Congress dropped its proposed water and civil rights packages, while President Reagan kept his crime package. Funding for aid to the Nicaraguan Contras was also passed.
1986 Oct 16 Oct 18 1 Yes Reagan Rep Dem Disputes over multiple issues between the House and President Reagan and the Republican Senate forced a shutdown. The House dropped many of their demands in exchange for a vote on their welfare package, and a concession of the sale of then-government-owned Conrail.
1987 Dec 18 Dec 20 1 Yes Reagan Dem Dem The House and Senate opposed funding for the Contras and wanted the Federal Communications Commission to renew enforcement of the "Fairness Doctrine". They yielded on the "Fairness Doctrine" issue in exchange for non-lethal aid to the Contras.
1990 Oct 5 Oct 9 5 Yes G. H. W. Bush Dem Dem President George H. W. Bush vowed to veto any continuing resolution that was not paired with a deficit reduction package, and did so when one reached his desk. The House failed to override his veto before a shutdown occurred. Congress then passed a continuing resolution with a deficit reduction package to end the shutdown.
1995 Nov 13 Nov 19 5 Yes Clinton Rep Rep President Bill Clinton vetoed a continuing resolution passed by the Republican-controlled Congress. A deal was reached allowing for 75-percent funding for four weeks, and Clinton agreed to a seven-year timetable for a balanced budget.
1995–1996 Dec 15 Jan 6 21 Yes Clinton Rep Rep The Republicans demanded that President Clinton propose a budget with the seven-year timetable using Congressional Budget Office numbers, rather than Clinton's Office of Management and Budget numbers. However, Clinton refused. Eventually, Congress and Clinton agreed to pass a compromise budget.
2013 Sep 30 Oct 17 16 Yes Obama Dem Rep Due to disagreement regarding inclusion of language defunding or delaying the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), more commonly known as ObamaCare, the Government did not pass a substantial funding bill. Funding was agreed to by the President and Congress for active military pay and back wages for furloughed employees. In addition, the House offered very small funding measures for a few, high-profile functions, which the Senate and White House rejected as "game-playing" while the Senate offered bills that did not include language to defund or delay the PPACA, but the House rejected them. On October 16, Senate Democrats and Republicans agreed to a deal that extended funding for government services until January 15, making only minor adjustments to the PPACA and other funding. This resolution was quickly adopted by both houses in bipartisan numbers, and was signed early next morning by President Obama. https://en.wikipedia...nment_shutdowns