Federal government shutdown of 1995

Federal government shutdown of 1995

The 1995 shutdown of the United States federal government was a major political crisis in which the U.S. federal government, as a result of a failure to pass a budget bill, stayed nonessential services from November 14 through November 19, 1995 and from December 16, 1995 to January 6, 1996. The major players were Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich.


During the shutdown, major portions of the federal government were inoperative. The Clinton Administration later released figures detailing the costs of the shutdown, which included losses of up to $800 million in salaries paid to furloughed employees. [cite news|url=http://usgovinfo.about.com/library/weekly/aa102499p2.htm |title=Government Shutdown? US Government Info/Resources|publisher=About.com|date=1999-10-24|accessdate=2007-06-03] The first budget shutdown was resolved with the passage of a temporary spending bill, but the underlying disagreement between Gingrich and Clinton was not resolved, resulting in the second shutdown.


The shutdown, however, was generally considered to have resulted in a victory for President Clinton. During the shutdown, Gingrich's complaint that he had been ignored by Clinton on a flight back from the funeral of Yitzhak Rabin was widely reported, resulting in the perception that Gingrich was acting in a petty, egotistical manner. Later polling suggested that the event badly damaged Gingrich politically. [cite news|url=http://blogs.abcnews.com/thenumbers/2007/09/gingrich-as-spe.html |title='The Numbers' - Sept 28, 2007|publisher=Gary Langer, ABC News|date=2007-09-27|accessdate=2007-09-28]

The shutdown also influenced the 1996 presidential election. Bob Dole, the Senate Majority Leader, was running for president in 1996. Because of his need to campaign, Dole was anxious to solve the budget crisis in January 1996 despite the willingness of other Republicans to continue the shutdown unless their demands were met. [George Stephanopoulus, "All Too Human," Back Bay Books, 2000. p. 406-407]


Further reading

* [http://www.rules.house.gov/archives/98-844.pdf CRS Report for Congress: Shutdown of the Federal Government: Causes, Effects, and Process]

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