After aides for both Democratic leaders and President Donald Trump met on Saturday, the partial shutdown of the federal government remained ongoing.
Trump’s sudden reversal on a bipartisan funding extension before the Christmas holiday forced a sizeable portion — but not all — of the government into a partial shutdown.
This is 21st time since the modern budget process began with the Budget Act of 1974 that the federal government has entered a shutdown or had a funding lapse.
On average, the 20 previous shutdowns lasted eight days, though they have been longer in recent decades. The six shutdowns since 1990 have lasted nine days on average, and removing the short, nine-hour funding lapse caused by Sen. Rand Paul in February, recent shutdowns have averaged 11 days. The longest shutdown in history, lasting 21 days, came in 1995-1996.
Most of these shutdowns weren’t severe, with 11 of the 20 lasting five days or fewer, and seven lasting three days or fewer. By making it to the third week, the current 15-day shutdown is now the 4th longest of the modern era passing the first of three shutdowns in 1977.
The current shutdown also bears some major differences from the past because federal employees aren’t working. Around 380,000 federal employees are now on furlough, meaning they do not report to work or get paid. In 11 of the previous shutdowns, employees were not placed on furlough.
Sending employees home has become more frequent in recent shutdowns, with furloughs occurring during five of the last six funding lapses (the only exception being the short Rand Paul lapse).
Another newer wrinkle is the fact that this is just the second shutdown during which employees were placed on furlough while one party controlled both chambers of Congress and the White House, which was the case for the beginning of the shutdown. The other instance was the three-day shutdown in January 2018.
Additionally with the changeover to the 116th Congress with its Democrat-controlled House, this is the first shutdown in which control of a chamber of Congress changed parties.
The current shutdown also means the president has set some historic firsts as well.
Trump is the only president to furlough employees while his party controlled both chambers of Congress, the only one to achieve that dubious feat multiple times, and is second in total shutdowns for a president whose party controls chambers of Congress. Jimmy Carter presided over five shutdowns while Democrats controlled both the House and Senate, none of which resulted in furloughs.
The latest shutdown also moved Trump into third place with three total funding lapses during his presidency, behind Carter’s five and Ronald Reagan’s eight. Trump also ranks fourth in totals shutdown days for modern presidents behind Carter’s 67 days and the 28 day mark shared by Clinton and Reagan.
2018 also became just the second year of the modern era to have three funding lapses, tying with 1977.
Here’s a breakdown of all the previous shutdowns: