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GOP scrambles for votes to avoid government shutdown

Posted at 8:18 AM, Jan 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-18 08:18:24-05

(RNN) - The U.S. is headed for another potential government shutdown Friday as President Donald Trump, House and Senate leaders are deadlocked over immigration issues including Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and funding for the border wall.

A government shutdown occurs when the president and Congress fail to pass Appropriations legislation for government spending and agencies. The Appropriations bill was passed in 1976 and since that period, there have been 18 shutdowns, according to The Washington Post.

Here is a list of government shutdowns to date.

President Gerald Ford

When: Sept. 30 to Oct. 10, 1976

Ford vetoed a funding bill for the Departments of Labor and Health, Education, and Welfare which resulted in a massive budget conflict.

On Oct. 1, Congress overrode Ford's veto, and the partial shutdown ended over a week later. On Oct. 11, a continuing resolution, which set aside money to specific federal government departments, and agencies became law.

President Jimmy Carter

When: Sept. 30 to Oct. 13, 1977

At least four shutdowns have centered around abortion disputes among the House, Senate, and the president.

This was the first crisis dispute dubbed "The Abortion Shutdown." The House insisted on a continued ban on using Medicaid fund abortions in except cases where the life of the mother was at stake. The Senate intended to loosen this provision to include abortions in the case of rape or incest. A temporary measure was passed halting a continued shutdown.

When: Oct. 31 to Nov. 9, 1977

Congress needed more time to resolve its abortion dispute and Carter signed another temporary bill to allow them to move forward.

When: Nov. 30 to Dec. 9, 1977

The House rejected a Senate proposal that would have allowed for Medicaid to cover abortions in certain instances of rape. Both sides came to an agreement on an exception allowing Medicaid to pay for abortions in cases where the mother's life was endangered and incidents of rape or incest.

When: Sept. 30 to Oct.18, 1978 - second longest government shutdown

Carter and Congress disagreed on a defense bill for a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. Carter vetoed the bill as well as a public works bill for water projects. The two sides came to a resolution on the two bills which excluded funding for the carrier and waterworks projects.

When: Sept. 30 to Oct. 12, 1979

The Senate opposed a plan by the House to raise the pay of senior federal civil servants by 5.5 percent. The House also wanted to limit federal abortion spending to cases where the mother's life was in danger. The Senate wanted to keep funding in cases of rape, incest, and when the mother's health is in serious harm. The stalemate was resolved as the House got its pay increases but allowed abortion funding in cases of rape or incest, according to The Washington Post.

President Ronald Reagan

When: Nov. 20-23, 1981

Reagan warned that he would veto any spending bill that didn't include a portion of his proposed $8 billion in cuts. The Senate passed a bill that met Reagan’s requirements, but the House insisted on greater defense cuts and pay raises for itself and for senior-level civil servants.

Reagan eventually vetoed the joint bill by the House and Senate that fell $2 billion short of the cuts he wanted. The issue was resolved when Reagan reluctantly signed the bill, extending spending through Dec. 15, giving the bodies time to work on a more permanent solution. 

When: Sept. 30 to Oct. 2, 1982

Congress didn’t pass new spending bills in time, and in turn, parts of the government shutdown. The House and Senate passed bills later in the year, and Reagan signed despite them exceeded his desired spending levels.

When: Dec.17-21, 1982

Reagan threatened to veto proposed House and Senate bills to fund public works and creation of jobs. The House also opposed funding a missile program, which was a defense priority for Reagan.

In the end, the House and Senate abandoned their jobs plans but also declined to fund Reagan’s missile program. Congress also provided funding for the Legal Services Corp, which provides legal support for poor Americans and which Reagan had wanted end.

When: Nov. 10-14, 1983

House Democrats passed an amendment adding close to $1 billion in education spending. They also reduced foreign aid to Syria and El Salvador. Reagan thought the cuts were too steep. The shutdown was resolved when House Democrats agreed to reduce their education spending request by about $100 million. They also funded Reagan’s missile plan, which they had cut funding for during the last shutdown.

When: Sept. 30 to Oct. 3, 1984

Reagan opposed the inclusion of water projects and a Civil Rights package to a crime bill resulting in a shutdown for two days. Reagan offered to waive his crime bill in exchange for parking the water package and the civil rights provision, but a deal wasn't reached in time to avoid the shutdown. A temporary spending extension was passed.

When: Oct. 4-5, 1984

This one-day shutdown was resolved when Congress stripped the water projects and a Civil Rights measure from the spending bill. Congress passed a crime package and a compromise was reached funding for the Nicaraguan “Contra” militants, a U.S. backed rebel group.

When: Oct. 16-18, 1986

This shutdown followed disagreements between Reagan and House Democrats on provisions to expand welfare, to ban companies from creating subsidiaries to get around labor contracts and another a provision that required that half the goods and labor used in offshore oil rigs be American. House Democrats conceded some of their demands and secured a promise for a vote on their welfare expansion. They in return passed bills necessary to reopen the government.

When: Dec. 18-20, 1987

This shutdown occurred after Reagan and congressional Democrats could not agree on funding for the Nicaraguan "Contra." Democrats also pushed for the reinstatement of the "Fairness Doctrine," which required broadcasters give equal time on air to opposing political views. At that time, the FCC had stopped enforcing the rule. Democrats eased on the Fairness Doctrine, and a deal was worked out to provide nonlethal aid to the “Contras.”

President George H. Bush

When: Oct. 5-9, 1990

Bush vetoed a deficit reduction package that contained tax increases. Bush later signed a joint budget resolution that provided an outline for reducing the deficit.

President Bill Clinton

When: Nov. 13-19, 1995

Clinton vetoed a bill from Congress that would have raised Medicare. The shutdown ended when Clinton and Republican leaders reached an agreement to fund the government for four weeks while budget negotiations continued. Clinton agreed to a seven-year balanced budget timeline and workers furloughed during the shutdown were given back pay.

When: Dec. 5, 1995, to Jan. 6, 1996 - the longest government shutdown

Republicans wanted to slow the rate of government spending and Clinton refused to slash spending.  Newt Gingrich, then-Speaker of the House, also refused to raise the debt limit, and chaos ensued.

Republicans caved and passed legislation to keep the government open. Clinton’s approval ratings soared, and he was elected to a second term later that fall. This is the longest government shutdown to date.

President Barack Obama

When: Oct. 1- Oct. 16, 2013 - third longest government shutdown

This shutdown started over the Affordable Care Act. On Oct. 1, Congress failed to agree on a budget and nearly 800,000 federal employees were out of work without pay. On Oct. 16, the Senate and House voted to fund the government until Jan. 15 and extend the debt limit. Minor changes were also made to Obamacare requiring income verification for those receiving health care.

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