Cost of Government

Government shutdown happens when the funding legislation to finance the federal government agencies fails to pass. The United States has a good history of government shutdowns in the past. However, the longest occurred only two years ago when President Trump wanted to fund the construction of a wall in the Mexican border. The longest government shutdown in U.S. history lasted for 35 days.

The first government shutdown, on the other hand, occurred in 1980 when President Carter was in the office but lasted only for a day. In fact, up until 1995, all government shutdowns lasted for only 1 or 3 days.

The last 10 years had three government shutdowns. The first government shutdown of the decade was when President Obama was in the office. It occurred because of the disagreement between the Democratic-led Senate and the Republican-led House of Representatives. The disagreement on the contents of the Continuing Appropriations Resolution Bill of 2014 resulted in a 16-day government shutdown in which all agencies were affected.

The second and third government shutdown occurred under President Trump. Although the first one lasted for only 3 days, the second was the longest.

History of Government Shutdown Costs to the Government

All and all, not only the federal employees suffer from the government shutdowns but the government itself as well. In the list below, you can see how much each government shutdown the cost to the government.

  • 1980
    • President: Jimmy Carter
    • Cost: $700,000
    • Lasted for: 1 day
  • 1981
    • President: Ronald Reagan
    • Cost: $85 million approx.
    • Lasted for:
  • 1984
    • President: Ronald Reagan
    • Cost: $65 million
    • Lasted for: 1 day
  • 1986
    • President: Ronald Reagan
    • Cost: $62 million
    • Lasted for: 1 day
  • 1990
    • President: George Herbert Walker Bush
    • Cost: $2.5 million
    • Lasted for: 3 days
  • 1995
    • President Bill Clinton
    • Cost: $400 million (combined)
    • Lasted for: 5 days
  • December 1995 – January 1996
    • President: Bill Clinton
    • Cost: $400 million (combined)
    • Lasted for: 21 days
  • 2013
    • President: Barack Obama
    • Cost: $2.1 billion
    • Lasted for: 16 days
  • 2018
    • President: Donald Trump
    • Cost: N/A
    • Lasted for: 3 days
  • December 2018 – January 2019
    • President: Donald Trump
    • Cost: $5 billion
    • Lasted for: 35 days

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