Shut It Down: The Federal Government Shutdown of 1995

April 5, 2011 8:38 a.m.

1||In 1995, the federal government temporarily shut down when President Clinton and Congressional Republicans failed to agree on a budget for the following fiscal year.

Now, President Obama and Republicans face a similar predicament, and if they fail to pass a budget by the end of this week, the government will again temporarily shut down. ||Ken Cedeno/Newscom&&

2||After President Clinton vetoed the spending bill sent to him by Congress, the government furloughed non-essential workers and closed many services. Pictured here are Rep. John Kasich (R-OH), Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole (R-KS) House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA), Sen. John Warner (R-VA), Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM), and Sen. Connie Mack (R-FL.) ||CHUCK KENNEDY/Newscom&&

3||At one point, Speaker Gingrich told a group of reporters that he forced the shutdown because Clinton had rudely made him and Majority Leader Dole sit in the back of Air Force One. The New York Daily News mocked Gingrich’s comments with an unflattering caricature, which Rep. Charles Schumer (D-NY) then displayed in a press conference. ||MATT MENDELSOHN/Newscom&&

4||The government actually shutdown twice in 1995, first for five days in mid November, and again from December through the first week of January. The first shutdown was ended by a stopgap spending bill, though a long-term budget wasn’t approved until January. ||CHUCK KENNEDY/Newscom&&

5||Many government services and tourist sites, including Biscayne National Park, shut down while the government hammered out a compromise. ||TIM CHAPMAN/Newscom&&

6||Then Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich (R-GA) and President Clinton were the two central players in negotiating a budget deal. ||Ken Cedeno/Newscom&&

7||||CHUCK KENNEDY/Newscom&&

8||The second shutdown lasted three weeks, prompting some members of Congress, including Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) to decry the shutdown’s negative impact. ||John Garofalo/Newscom&&

9||Compromise talks dragged on through the end of 1995. Pictured here are, at right, President Clinton, Majority Leader Bob Dole (R-KS), and Rep. John Kasich (R-OH), and at left, Vice President Al Gore and Chairman of the Office of Budget and Management Alice Rivlin. ||Ken Cedeno/Newscom&&

10||President Clinton and Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich in December 1995. ||Courtesy: William J. Clinton Presidential Library&&

11||Popular tourist attractions like the Lincoln Memorial remained closed until a spending bill was ultimately signed in January 1996. ||CHUCK KENNEDY/Newscom&&

12||Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia also closed temporarily as a result of the shutdown.||TOM GRALISH/Newscom&&

13||President Clinton and Congressional Democrats, like Richard Gephart (D-MO), refused to agree to Republican’s proposed budget cuts on items like Medicare and education. ||Ken Cedeno/Newscom&&

14||||MICHAEL J.B. KELLY/Newscom&&

15||President Clinton finally signed a compromise budget bill on January 6, 1996, ending the government shutdown. ||Courtesy: William J. Clinton Presidential Library&&

16||Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole (R-KS), Vice President Al Gore President Clinton, and House Speaker Gingrich (R-GA) after a budget meeting on December 19, 1995. ||Courtesy: William J. Clinton Presidential Library&&

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