Breaking News
More (0) »

Houston's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Houston, Texas | KHOU.com

Shutdown day 22: This is now the longest government shutdown in US history

With President Donald Trump and Democrats unable to reach a deal over funding a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, the president has said he is considering declaring a national emergency.

The government shutdown over border security is now the longest in U.S. history.

Saturday marked 22 days since the start of a partial government shutdown that has left some 800,000 people without paychecks and caused growing effects on national parks, food inspections and the overall economy.

The second-longest shutdown lasted 21 days under former president Bill Clinton.

With President Donald Trump and Democrats unable to reach a deal over funding a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, the president has said he is considering declaring a national emergency. A declaration would allow Trump to bypass Congress and allocate the $5.7 billion he demands for the wall.

Previous shutdowns have occurred under both Democrat and Republican presidents’ administrations and were precipitated by disagreements over taxes, a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, health care, abortion and other issues.

Here’s a look at the five longest shutdowns in U.S. history:

Clinton vs. Gingrich

Duration: 21 days. Started on Dec. 16, 1995 and ended on Jan. 6, 1996.

President: Bill Clinton

This shutdown started after former President Bill Clinton and former Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich disagreed on the budget. Gingrich pushed cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and other programs, and Clinton vetoed the bill. That triggered a brief shutdown between November 14 and 19, which then led to the second-longest shutdown in U.S. history.

When Gingrich was asked to explain why he shuttered the government, he said that on an Air Force One trip to attend the funeral for Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Clinton hadn’t talked to him. To top it off, Gingrich explained, he had been forced to exit from the back of the plane.

"It's petty...but I think it's human," said Gingrich in a 1995 interview.

Carter vs. Congress

Duration: 18 days. Started on Sept. 30, 1978 and ended Oct. 18, 1978.

President: Jimmy Carter

Congress passed a defense bill, which included funding for a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. Former-President Jimmy Carter decided that the carrier as a waste of federal funds and vetoed the bill. He also vetoed a public works appropriations bill that included water projects. Another sticking point concerned funding for abortion under Medicaid.

The shutdown ended when the president approved a new defense deal that did not include funding for the aircraft carrier, along with a new public works bill. The previous year’s decisions on abortion funding was kept the same.

The Obamacare Shutdown 

Duration: 16 days. Started on Oct. 1, 2013 and ended Oct. 17, 2013.

President: Barack Obama

Perhaps still fresh in the minds of some individuals, the Obamacare shutdown in 2013 started after the Republican-controlled House submitted a continuing resolution to fund the government that did not include funding for the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.

The Senate rejected the bill, and after some back and forth between the two chambers, the government shut down. The shutdown, however, did not stop the rollout of Obamacare because 85 percent of its funding was already covered as part of the mandatory budget, much like Social Security and Medicare.

The Abortion Shutdown

Duration: 12 days. Started on Sept. 30, 1977 and ended Oct. 13, 1977

President: Jimmy Carter

Though Democrats controlled the House, Senate and presidency, fighting within the parties led to this 12-day government shutdown. The House insisted on continuing a ban on using Medicaid funding to pay for abortions, except in cases in which the mother’s life was at stake.

The Senate wanted to make allowances for cases of rape and incest. In the end, the House won, and the Medicaid ban was continued until Oct. 31 to give negotiators more time to work on a compromise.

But that was far from the end of the fight. Two subsequent shutdowns (yes, TWO), lasting eight days each, resulted from this argument between the House and Senate over funding for abortion through Medicaid. Eventually, on Dec. 9, a deal was brokered in which exceptions were made allowing Medicaid to pay for abortions in cases in which the mother’s life is endangered, in cases of rape and incest, and in cases in which it is necessary to protect the mother’s health.

Higher pay for Congress; fewer abortions

Duration: 11 days, beginning Sept. 30, 1979, and ending Oct. 12, 1979

President: Jimmy Carter

In yet another spat over abortion funding during Carter’s presidency, the lower House wanted to limit federal abortion spending exclusively to cases in which the mother’s life was in danger, as was the issue two years before. The House also wanted to raise congressional and senior civil servant pay, which the Senate opposed.

Eventually, the House got its pay raise but had to allow abortion funding in cases of rape and incest (but not when the mother’s health is in danger) as a compromise.

Contributing: Associated Press and TEGNA Staff