Government Shutdowns: As American as Apple Pie?

October 3, 2013

Andrew Stiles continues to do yeoman’s work on the shutdown at National Review Online.

“When Tip Did It: Tip O’Neill presided over two-thirds of the government shutdowns since 1976.”

The government shut down on October 1 for the 18th time since 1976, after the House and Senate could not agree on a resolution to fund it. Democrats have accused Republicans of negotiating with “a bomb strapped to their chest” and putting “a gun to everybody’s head,” as if it were an anomalous development in the modern political era for Congress to seek to extract policy concessions from the White House by withholding spending authorization. The resulting shutdown, Democrats now suggest, is as unprecedented as it is deplorable. . . .

At this point in Ronald Reagan’s second term, for example, the government had already shut down six times, for a total of twelve days . . . .

Neither is it unprecedented for the shutdowns to be over disagreements that are something more than strictly budgetary.

Interestingly, nearly all of the shutdowns that took place during the Carter administration, when Democrats also controlled the Senate under Senate majority leader Robert Byrd (D., W.Va.), were the result of disagreements over abortion policy, and lasted more than ten days on average.

Apparently there have been more than thirty federal government shutdowns “since the modern budgeting process has been in place.”

(Read the whole thing.)

One Response to “Government Shutdowns: As American as Apple Pie?”


  1. […] By the way, “At this point in Ronald Reagan’s second term, for example, the government had already shut down six times . . . .” “Government Shutdowns: As American as Apple Pie?” […]


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