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History of government budget shutdowns? - Input Junkie
April 9th, 2011
12:34 am


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History of government budget shutdowns?
I half heard an NPR show on the subject. Unfortunately, I can't remember whether it was a judicial(?) decision during the Carter or Clinton administration which causes the government to shut down if there isn't an agreement about the budget.

Anyone know the details?

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Date:April 9th, 2011 12:02 pm (UTC)
I'd heard that is was a law from the 19th century that keeps them from spending money without a budget.
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Date:April 10th, 2011 05:54 pm (UTC)
19th C. law apparently mostly treated as just a suggestion until the Carter administration said to take it seriously, according to page two of this article.
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Date:April 10th, 2011 07:05 pm (UTC)
Thank you very much. This doesn't explain the lack of common sense which led to that interpretation being adopted, but at least it's clear that it's the result of specific decisions.

Weirdly, it doesn't seem to be a result of right-wing anti-government sentiment.
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Date:April 9th, 2011 01:11 pm (UTC)
The last shutdown was during the Clinton administration. I can't remember one during the Carter administration, but that could be fading memory.

Last time it wasn't essential things like keeping the Navy at see that were shut down, but the closing of doodads like public exhibitions that the Democrats drove the public to its knees with.
Date:April 9th, 2011 02:38 pm (UTC)
There must have been at least one shutdown during the Reagan years. I remember one of my afternoon classes being disrupted when the teacher's husband came to the door to let her know he was - at least temporarily - out of a job.
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Date:April 9th, 2011 04:21 pm (UTC)

From Wikipedia, Government shutdown: "A distinction defined in the Carter Administration" (second link goes to a Word doc at the White House site.)

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Date:April 9th, 2011 08:25 pm (UTC)
I was going to say it had tobe pre-clinton because my family went thru several rounds of 'dad's not getting paid because some idiot put a rider on the budget again' in the late 70's. Difference was, he still had to show up and do his job, he just didn't get any money for it until whatever bill fiasco was going on was fixed.
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Date:April 18th, 2011 01:38 pm (UTC)
I think the decision late in the Carter years was that (non-essential) government employees would no longer be allowed/required to perform their jobs in the absence of a budget agreement to fund them.
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