On February 9, 2018, Republican Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul blocked a spending bill in an effort to shine a light on the national debt.
“I can’t in all good honesty, in all good faith, just look the other way because my party is now complicit in the deficits,” Paul said at the time
on the Senate floor.
His remarks on the floor prevented the Senate from passing the legislation by the midnight deadline, but the shutdown only lasted mere hours as President Donald Trump eventually signed the legislation
later that day.
Democrats in January 2018 refused to vote on a spending bill in an attempt to negotiate a plan for undocumented immigrants.
The shutdown ended after
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer made an agreement that the Senate would take up legislation to deal with individuals who were part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which Trump has sought to end. A permanent solution for DACA has yet to come to fruition as the program has been in legal limbo.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a Republican, helped lead the charge in October 2013 to shutdown the government as part of a protest over the Affordable Care Act, more colloquially known as Obamacare. Cruz’s efforts were met with no success though, as both the Senate and the presidency were controlled by Democrats.
Republicans ultimately caved
after 16 days
in their efforts to strip funding for the health care plan, and agreed to fund the government at its current levels, in addition to a small change regarding income verification for health care subsidies.
December 1995 to January 1996
The previous longest shutdown took place during former President Bill Clinton’s time in office — lasting a total of 21 days.
Clinton and Congressional Republicans disagreed over federal spending, and Republicans refused to sign a bill in an effort to get Democrats to cut funding for Medicare and Medicaid.
The shutdown rolled into the new year, and ended only after Clinton agreed
to balance the budget within seven years and submit a balanced budget plan to the Congressional Budget Office.