United States federal government shutdowns of 2018
The United States federal government shutdown of 2018 began at midnight EST on Saturday, January 20, 2018, and ended on the evening of Monday, January 22. The shutdown began after a failure to pass legislation to fund government operations and agencies. This stemmed from disputes over the extension of status of persons affected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration policy, and therefore whether those covered under the program should face deportation. There was also a dispute over whether funding should be allocated towards building a Mexico–United States border wall, a keystone policy during Donald Trump's presidential campaign.
The 2018 shutdown began when the Senate failed to overcome a Democratic filibuster of a temporary continuing resolution (an appropriations bill), which requires a 3/5 supermajority to end. The shutdown began on the first anniversary of Donald Trump taking office. The shutdown ended when Senate Democrats agreed to end the filibuster and invoke cloture with the Republican promise that they would allow debate on the DREAM Act before the continuing resolution would expire on February 8, 2018. Some liberals have criticized the Democrats decision to end the shutdown without a firm assurance and no guarantee on DACA. President Donald Trump hailed it as a "big win" and said that the Democrats caved in.
A second funding gap occurred on February 9. Although the funding gap only lasted nine hours overnight, meaning government services were not interrupted, the event was widely referred to in the media as a second shutdown.
The U.S. government's 2018 fiscal year began on October 1, 2017. Because regular appropriations bills to fund the government had not been passed, Congress funded the government through a series of three temporary continuing resolutions. These extended government funding respectively through December 8, 2017, December 22, 2017, and January 19, 2018.
The negotiations on a permanent appropriations bill had become entangled with disputes over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration policy. DACA is a U.S. immigration policy that allowed some individuals who entered the country as minors, and had either entered or remained in the country illegally, to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and to be eligible for a work permit. As of 2017, approximately 800,000 individuals were enrolled in the program created by DACA. The policy was established by the Obama Administration through executive action in June 2012 in response to Congress' failure to pass the DREAM Act. The Trump Administration rescinded DACA in September 2017, setting an expiration date of March 2018, with the stated preference that Congress adopt a legislative solution.
|CR Number||Date CR Passed||Expiration Date (Duration)||Remarks|
|1||October 1, 2017||December 9, 2017 (~10 weeks)|
|2||December 9, 2017||December 22, 2017 (3 weeks)|
|3||December 22, 2017||January 19, 2018 (4 weeks)||Resulted in 69-hour shutdown|
|4||January 22, 2018||February 8, 2018 (~2 weeks)||Resulted in 9 hour funding lapse|
|5||February 9, 2018||March 23, 2018 (~6 weeks)|
|Senate Cloture Vote Tally on CR: 50–49, January 19, 2018, C-SPAN|
As of January 19, 2018, the Extension of Continuing Appropriations Act, 2018 (H.R. 195) was under consideration to extend funding through February 16, 2018. The bill passed the House on January 18, but a cloture vote in the Senate failed 50–49, with 60 votes required to end a Democratic-led filibuster, at around 10:45 pm EST, shortly before the midnight expiration of the previous continuing resolution. Forty-five Republicans were joined by five Democrats in voting yes to the cloture motion on the resolution, while four Republicans voted against cloture. This continuing resolution, supported by Republican leadership, included a six-year authorization for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which had not been funded since October, and delayed several healthcare taxes stemming from the Affordable Care Act. Democrats preferred a shorter resolution lasting a few days, intending for negotiations to incorporate an extension of the DACA policy.
|Party||Votes for||Votes against||Not voting/Absent|
As the shutdown began, Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill proposed a bill that would ensure the military would continue being paid and receive death benefits during the shutdown; such a continuing resolution had been passed unanimously during the 2013 shutdown. Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell objected to the measure, wanting to "restore funding for the entire government before this becomes necessary". This resulted in the bill's failure. In proposing the bill, McCaskill had noted that Trump had blamed Democrats if the military were to go unpaid during the shutdown. McConnell himself had also accused Democrats of keeping "the government shuttered for American troops, American veterans, American military families". One day after this bill failed, Vice President Mike Pence told American troops in Syria that "a minority in the Senate has decided to play politics with military pay". Meanwhile, the White House answering machine told callers that Democrats in Congress are holding "government funding - including funding for our troops ... hostage".
On January 20, McConnell called for a vote at 1 am EST on January 22 for a bill that would keep the government open through February 8, and was not likely to include concessions Democrats were seeking on immigration. On the night of January 21, McConnell moved to delay the procedural vote on a temporary spending bill, scheduling it to take place at noon EST on January 22. A temporary spending bill until February 8 passed by a large majority by the end of the day.
The solution was brokered by a bipartisan group of around 20 senators, who started meeting as negotiations stalled and pledged to advance various stalled issues in the following weeks.
On the afternoon of January 22, a deal was announced to reopen the government the following day. The Senate voted 81–18 to end debate and proceed to approving new temporary funding. The House passed the bill, and the President signed it that evening.
|Party||Votes for||Votes against||Not voting/Absent|
The Trump administration announced its intention to minimize the impact of the shutdown. National Park Service (NPS) facilities generally remained open, although staff were still furloughed and some areas of parks were closed due to lack of staff. On the first day of the shutdown, it was estimated that about a third of NPS's 417 sites were completely closed, including historical and cultural sites mainly consisting of buildings. The Statue of Liberty and Liberty Bell were among the sites closed, however, the Statue of Liberty was open again on January 22 as New York State provided a temporary funding for the federal employees to operate it. National monuments in Washington, D.C. remained open as well.
Some agencies stayed open by using unspent funds from sources other than annual appropriations, or using fee revenue. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) remained open during the shut down because it had access to fees already collected in prior years, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it could stay open for a week, and workers from the Department of Energy (DOE) and Department of State (DOS) were told to report to work on Monday.
Unlike in previous shutdowns, the local government in Washington, D.C. continued operating through the shutdown, due to a provision enacted in the previous year's appropriations legislation, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017.
Due to their status as federal service academies, the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) and the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) canceled all of their collegiate athletic events until further notice; the United States Coast Guard Academy (USCGA), United States Naval Academy (USNA, a.k.a. Navy), and United States Military Academy (USMA, a.k.a. Army) were not forced to cancel or reschedule games due to how their athletic programs are organized and funded.
The Department of Defense said that the American Forces Network (AFN) would not be operating during the government shutdown. However, AFN broadcast NFL playoff games on January 21 after two channels—for news and sports—remained on.
On January 19, Trump tweeted that it is "[n]ot looking good for our great Military or Safety & Security on the very dangerous Southern Border. Dems want a Shutdown in order to help diminish the great success of the Tax Cuts, and what they are doing for our booming economy."
In a statement, the White House blamed the shutdown on Senate Democrats and said that it would not negotiate with the Democrats on immigration. The President's planned trip to Mar-a-Lago in Florida was postponed hours prior to the shutdown.
Referencing his meeting with Trump, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement, "We discussed all of the major outstanding issues, we made some progress, but we still have a good number of disagreements. The discussions will continue."
As the deadline for the 2018 funding approached, commentators pointed out Donald Trump's previous statements regarding shutdowns. In May 2017, Trump said that "our country needs a 'good shutdown'". Back in 2013 during the Obama presidency, Trump, when asked who should be "fired" if there is a government shut down answered, "if you say who gets fired it always has to be the top (...) problems start from the top and they have to get solved from the top and the president’s the leader (...) when they talk about the government shutdown, they’re going to be talking about the president of the United States, who the president was at that time", and that in a shutdown, "the pressure" was on the president.
On January 21, Trump tweeted, "If stalemate continues, Republicans should go to 51% (Nuclear Option) and vote on real, long term budget, no C.R.'s!" However, a representative for McConnell said the majority leader was opposed to using the nuclear option. Republican Senator Susan Collins said that a group of more than twenty moderates will present ideas for resolving the shutdown of the federal government to the Senate's leadership.
In a speech to US servicemembers at a military facility near the Jordan–Syria border, Vice President Mike Pence said that immigration talks between lawmakers and the White House couldn't proceed until the government reopens. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham criticized White House policy advisor Stephen Miller, saying negotiations were going nowhere as long as he was in charge of negotiating immigration.
On February 6, 2018, as Congress continued to prepare another continuing resolution for a temporary budget, President Trump declared that if American immigration laws were not tightened, "We'll do a shutdown and it's worth it for our country. I'd love to see a shutdown if we don't get this stuff taken care of."
During the shutdown, Democratic and Republican officials offered up competing narratives over where to lay blame for the Senate's inability to strike an agreement on government funding, creating the competing #TrumpShutdown and #SchumerShutdown hashtags. Trump used the hashtag #DemocratShutdown to counter #TrumpShutdown. By the afternoon of January 20, #TrumpShutdown had been used some 2.6 million times on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram; while the hashtag #SchumerShutdown was mentioned 1.3 million times during the same period. Other existing hashtags, such as #GOPShutdown and #DemShutdown, were mentioned 236,000 and 107,000 times respectively. The Alliance for Securing Democracy said the hashtag #SchumerShutdown was the top trending hashtag being promoted by Russian bots and trolls on Twitter on the night of January 21.
In a CNN poll conducted between January 14–18, 56 percent of respondents said avoiding a shutdown was more important than continuing DACA as opposed to 34 percent who said the opposite. In another poll conducted by Politico and Morning Consult between January 18–19, voters were equally divided on whether it was worth it to shut down the government to pass a bill that allows those eligible for DACA to stay in the US. On other issues, 27 percent said it was worth it to shut down the government for border wall funding, 55 percent for increased defense funding, and 64 percent for renewing CHIP. In an NBC News and SurveyMonkey poll conducted between January 20–22, 60 percent of respondents said Trump did not show strong leadership during the shutdown and 66 percent said they supported DACA.
|Fox News||January 21–23, 2018||13%||24%||32%||24%|||
|YouGov||January 21–23, 2018||33%||13%||37%||—|||
|NBC News/SurveyMonkey||January 20–22, 2018||38%||18%||39%||—|||
|Politico/Morning Consult||January 20–21, 2018||34%||15%||35%||—|||
|Public Policy Polling||January 20–21, 2018||52%||43%||—|||
|Quinnipiac University||January 19–23, 2018||31%||18%||32%||—|||
|Government shutdown begins on January 20|
|Politico/Morning Consult||January 18–19, 2018||—||41%||36%||—|||
|The Washington Post/ABC News||January 15–18, 2018||48%||28%||18%|||
|CNN||January 14–18, 2018||21%||26%||31%||10%|||
|Quinnipiac University||January 12–16, 2018||21%||32%||34%||—|||
February funding gap
A related funding gap occurred for the first 9 hours of Friday, February 9, 2018 EST. The funding gap was widely referred to in media reports as a second shutdown, although no workers were furloughed and government services were not disrupted, because the funding gap occurred overnight and was resolved close to the beginning of the work day.
As the continuing resolution (CR) from January 22 expired, the Senate debated a bill, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, that included (among other things) two-year appropriations for the military, a 6-week CR extension for funding the rest of government, and a raising of the debt ceiling. Senator Rand Paul repeatedly objected to the cost of passing of this trillion-dollar legislation, and at approximately 11PM EST on February 8, the Senate recessed until 12:01AM EST, effectively triggering a second shutdown in 2018. Overnight, the Senate passed the bill that Paul had objected to, and President Trump signed the bill around 9AM EST on February 9.
According to DefenseNews, "The deal, which was unveiled Wednesday by Senate leaders after months of partisan wrangling, includes a $148 billion boost for the Pentagon over two years, as well as funds for the rest of government and disaster aid. The deal lifts the debt ceiling and extends some tax breaks and health care provisions — and the six-week continuing resolution" The spending measure expires on March 23. The legislation does not address DACA, which the Senate and the House agreed to discuss and vote on in the weeks following the February 9 CR.
At midnight, the Office of Management and Budget issued an order to close nonessential government operations and for federal employees to report to work Friday to implement their contingency plans. At around 1 AM EST, the Senate used rules that allowed them to bypass Paul, and the CR passed the Senate 71–28. After 5AM EST, the House passed the bill 240–186 with bipartisan support and bipartisan opposition. President Trump signed the bill around 9AM EST on February 9, ending the lapse.
- Government shutdowns in the United States
- List of United States federal funding gaps
- National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018
- Budget Control Act of 2011
- List of acts of the 115th United States Congress
- 115th United States Congress
- Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018 (passed March 23, 2018)
- Fram, Alan; Taylor, Andrew; Miller, Zeke (January 22, 2018). "Back to work: Government shutdown ends after Dems relent". ABC News. Retrieved January 25, 2018.
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- Blake, Aaron (January 22, 2018). "Democrats caved on the shutdown, and they're admitting it". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 23, 2018.
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- DeBonis, Mike; Snell, Kelsey. "Trump signs $15 billion Harvey aid package after Republicans booed top White House officials". The Washington Post. Washington, D.C.: Nash Holdings LLC. Retrieved September 10, 2017.
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- "Roll Call Vote 115th Congress - 2nd Session". United States Senate. January 19, 2018. Retrieved January 21, 2018.
- Lamothe, Dan (January 20, 2018). "Amid government shutdown, the military becomes major front in political battle". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 21, 2018.
- Senator McConnell Objects to Military Pay Protection. C-SPAN. January 19, 2018. Retrieved January 21, 2018.
- Willis, Oliver (January 20, 2018). "Watch Mitch McConnell kill effort to protect military pay as GOP pushed for shutdown". Shareblue Media. Retrieved January 21, 2018.
- Tritten, Travis J. (January 20, 2018). "Congress barrels into shutdown without protecting military pay". The Washington Examiner. Retrieved January 20, 2018.
- Cullen, Terence. "Pence rails against Senate over shutdown in speech to troops". New York Daily News. Retrieved January 21, 2018.
- "US shutdown: White House voicemail changed to blame Democrats". BBC News. Retrieved January 23, 2018.
- Lawler, Dave (January 20, 2018). "Shutdown squabble continues, with vote set for 1 a.m. Monday". Axios. Retrieved January 21, 2018.
- Fandos, Nicholas; Kaplan, Thomas (January 21, 2018). "Shutdown Will Go Into Monday as Senate Inches Toward Deal". The New York Times. Washington, D.C. Retrieved January 21, 2018.
- "U.S. government goes back to work after 'lunch break' shutdown". Reuters. January 22, 2018. Retrieved January 23, 2018.
- "With Trump absent in shutdown debate, moderate U.S. senators fill void". Reuters. January 23, 2018. Retrieved January 23, 2018.
- Costa, Robert; Werner, Erica; O'Keefe, Ed; Viebeck, Elise (January 22, 2018). "Senate poised to break budget impasse, paving way for government to reopen". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 22, 2018.
- Kim, Seung Min; Everett, Burgess; Schor, Elena (January 22, 2018). "Senate votes to end shutdown". Politico. Retrieved January 22, 2018.
- Stolberg, Sheryl Gay; Kaplan, Thomas (2018). "Government Shutdown Ends After 3 Days of Recriminations". The New York Times. Retrieved January 23, 2018.
- Stracqualursi, Veronica (January 22, 2018). "How senators voted to end the government shutdown". CNN. Retrieved January 24, 2018.
- Dlouhy, Jennifer A.; Flavelle, Christopher (January 19, 2018). "Trump Administration Says It'll Run Shutdown Differently, Keep Parks Open". Bloomberg. Retrieved January 20, 2018.
- Kuznia, Rob; Dixon, Deby; Crandall, Diana (January 20, 2018). "At national parks, the confusing reality of the government shutdown's first day". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved January 21, 2018.
- Kenny, Caroline (22 January 2018). "NY Gov. Cuomo to keep Statue of Liberty open during shutdown". CNN. Retrieved 9 February 2018.
- Naylor, Brian (January 19, 2018). "Open Or Closed? Here's What Happens In A Partial Government Shutdown". NPR. Retrieved January 20, 2018.
- Quinn, Gene (January 19, 2018). "UPDATE: USPTO to Remain Open in spite of Government Shutdown". IPWatchdog. Retrieved January 20, 2018.
- Heckman, Jory (January 19, 2018). "EPA, Energy Department intend to stay open past shutdown deadline". Federal News Radio. Retrieved January 21, 2018.
- Connolly, Griffin (January 19, 2018). "D.C. Stays Open This Time Around — Even If Federal Government Shuts Down". Roll Call. Retrieved January 20, 2018.
- "Air Force cancels games due to government shutdown". ESPN. January 20, 2018. Retrieved January 20, 2018.
- "USMMA Athletics Notice". Kings Point: United States Merchant Marine Academy. January 20, 2018. Retrieved January 20, 2018.
- "Air Force Cancels All Athletic Events Due to Government Shutdown". Sports Illustrated. Associated Press. January 20, 2018. Retrieved January 20, 2018.
- Kenny, Caroline (January 20, 2018). "Deployed troops can't watch NFL playoffs during shutdown". Washington, D.C.: CNN. Retrieved January 21, 2018.
- "AFN to broadcast NFL's championship games despite government shutdown". ESPN. Associated Press. January 21, 2018. Retrieved January 21, 2018.
- Trump, Donald [@realDonaldTrump] (January 19, 2018). "Not looking good for our great Military or Safety & Security on the very dangerous Southern Border. Dems want a Shutdown in order to help diminish the great success of the Tax Cuts, and what they are doing for our booming economy" (Tweet). Retrieved January 20, 2018 – via Twitter.
- "The Latest: Schumer says Trump 'backed off' deal". Washington, D.C.: ABC News. Associated Press. January 20, 2018. Retrieved January 20, 2018.
- Berman, Russell (January 20, 2018). "The Government Is Officially Closed for Business". The Atlantic. Retrieved January 20, 2018.
- Shaw, Adam; Pappas, Alex; Richardson, Matt (January 20, 2018). "Government braces for shutdown as Senate fails to meet deadline for spending deal". Fox News. Retrieved January 20, 2018.
- Korte, Gregory (January 19, 2018). "Trump's had some very different views on government shutdowns over the years". USA Today. Washington, D.C. Retrieved January 20, 2018.
- Thomsen, Jacqueline (January 19, 2018). "Trump's comments blaming Obama for 2013 government shutdown resurface". The Hill. Retrieved January 20, 2018.
- Sharman, Jon (January 21, 2018). "US government shutdown latest: Donald Trump threatens Democrats with 51% 'nuclear option' after failure to pass spending bill". The Indeptendent. Retrieved January 21, 2018.
- Calia, Mike; Pramuk, Jacob (January 21, 2018). "Despite Trump tweet, McConnell opposes using 'nuclear option' in shutdown battle". CNBC. Retrieved January 21, 2018.
- "Collins: Moderates taking U.S. budget fix ideas to Senate leaders". Washington, D.C. Reuters. January 21, 2018. Retrieved January 21, 2018.
- Liptak, Kevin; Malloy, Allie (January 21, 2018). "Pence says immigration talks over until government reopens". CNN. Retrieved January 21, 2018.
- "Pence blames Dems for shutdown in speech to troops". Axios. January 21, 2018. Retrieved January 21, 2018.
- Schor, Elana (January 21, 2018). "Graham tees off on Stephen Miller over immigration". Politico. Retrieved January 21, 2018.
- Merica, Dan; Mattingly, Phil. "Trump: 'I'd love to see a shutdown' over immigration". CNN. Retrieved 8 February 2018.
- Thomsen, Jacqueline (January 20, 2018). "Trump counters #TrumpShutdown trend with #DemocratShutdown". The Hill. Retrieved February 9, 2018.
- Caspani, Maria (January 20, 2018). "As parties battle over shutdown, Trump collects blame on Twitter". Reuters. Retrieved January 21, 2018.
- Bendery, Jennifer (January 21, 2018). "The #SchumerShutdown Hashtag Is Getting A Big Boost From Russian Bots". HuffPost. Washington, D.C. Retrieved January 22, 2018.
- Agiesta, Jennifer (January 19, 2018). "CNN poll: DACA not worth a shutdown, except to Democrats". Washington, D.C.: CNN. Retrieved January 20, 2018.
- Shepard, Steven (January 21, 2018). "Who gets blamed for the shutdown? Here's what the polls say". Politico. Retrieved January 21, 2018.
- Perry, Stephanie; Lapinski, John (January 23, 2018). "Poll: Democrats, Trump to blame for government shutdown". NBC News. Retrieved January 23, 2018.
- Blanton, Dana (January 24, 2018). "Fox News Poll: Voters spread the blame for government shutdown".
- Frankovic, Kathy (January 24, 2018). "No gains from the shutdown, just lots of blame to go around". YouGov. Retrieved January 27, 2018.
- Shepard, Steven (January 22, 2018). "Poll: More voters blamed Trump and GOP for shutdown than Democrats". Politico. Retrieved January 24, 2018.
- "National Survey Results" (PDF). Center for American Progress. Retrieved January 27, 2018.
- Shabad, Rebecca (January 24, 2018). "Voters blame Trump, Democrats equally for government shutdown". CBS News. Retrieved January 24, 2018.
- Clement, Scott (January 19, 2018). "More Americans blame Republicans than Democrats for potential government shutdown, Post-ABC poll finds". The Washington Post. Retrieved January 20, 2018.
- "Helping Dreamers Can't Get U.S. Voters Over The Wall, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds; Support For Infrastructure Almost 10-1" (PDF). Quinnipiac University. January 18, 2018. Retrieved January 23, 2018.
- Fuller, Matt; Foley, Elise. "Congress Passes Massive Spending Deal, Ending Shutdown Before It Ever Really Started". Huffington Post. Retrieved 9 February 2018.
- Collins, Michael; Shesgreen, Deirdre (2018-02-08). "Government shuts down for second time in three weeks as spending plan stalls in Senate". USA Today. Retrieved 2018-02-10.
- Pramuk, Jacob. "US government officially shuts down as Congress fails to pass spending bill in time". CNBC. Retrieved 9 February 2018.
- Moe, Alex; Thorp V, Frank; Caldwell, Leigh Ann. "After temporary shutdown, Congress passes two-year spending deal". NBC News. Retrieved 9 February 2018.
What it doesn't address is DACA. Per an agreement to end the three-day government shutdown last month, the Senate will take up DACA next week. House Democrats sought a similar agreement from House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., who insisted that he will bring up DACA legislation.
- Gould, Joe. "Trump signs budget deal, ending government shutdown". Defense News. Retrieved 9 February 2018.