Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

March 22, 2018   |   Ithaca, NY


National Recap: Government shutdown ends quickly

On the one-year anniversary of President Donald Trump’s inauguration, the Senate failed to pass a short-term spending bill, causing the federal government to shut down for three days.

The government has shut down 19 times since a new budgeting process took effect in 1976, with the last government shutdown occurring during Barack Obama’s presidency in 2013. The most recent shutdown is noteworthy because it was the first complete shutdown with one party in control of both houses of Congress.

On Jan. 19, Republicans in the Senate failed to get 60 votes that would have then opened a 30-day funding bill to a vote. Democrats walked away from the proposed short-term spending bill because it did not include protection for DACA recipients, despite the fact that the bill would have funded the Children’s Health Insurance program that Democrats have been pushing for since October of last year.

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said that Trump “picked a number” that he wanted to fund the border wall in negotiations, and Schumer promised this in return for protection for DACA recipients. Hours after negotiations though, Trump walked away from the deal.

“The president must take yes for an answer,” Schumer said. “Until he does, it’s the Trump shutdown.”

Due to the marginal majority that Republicans have over Democrats in Congress, it would require bipartisan support for a spending bill to pass. Trump, however, tweeted on the second day of the shutdown that Republicans should use the “so-called nuclear option” and cut Democrats out of the negotiation process.

Schumer and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell met on Jan. 21 to discuss a “centrist plan,” a list of ways to end the government shutdown which was proposed by a group of bipartisan senators, even after Trump proposed his nuclear option.

Following the meeting between McConnell and Schumer, Trump signed a bill on the night of Jan. 22 that would extend funding until Feb. 8, ending the three-day shutdown. In the compromise between Democrats and Republicans, voting on the DREAM Act was put on the Senate’s agenda for February.

Americans equally blame Trump and Congressional Democrats for the shutdown, according to a poll completed by NBC. A CNN poll found that 56 percent of Americans didn’t think the government should have shut down over DACA disagreements.

Meaghan McElroy can be reached at or via Twitter: @meaghan_mcelroy