Sen. Majority Leader Bob Dole, Vice President Al Gore, President Bill Clinton, and Speaker Newt Gingrich shake hands during a budget meeting in 1995
April 7th, 2011
08:48 PM ET


The last time there was a government shutdown, Bill Clinton was president and Republicans controlled both the House and Senate.

The 1995-96 budget impasse between Democrats and Republicans was largely over spending on education, public health, the environment, and funding for Medicare. Negotiations were then complicated when Congress refused to raise the debt limit in hopes of forcing Clinton to surrender.

He didn't.

Over a period of seven months, there were two government shutdowns and 13 continuing resolutions before a budget agreement was finally made on April 25, 1996.

Both Democrats and Republicans claimed victory in the budget battle, but it was President Clinton's approval ratings that soared after the budget became law.

Topics: Budget • The Buzz • The Visuals • White House

soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Howard

    Hairy Reid is a liar. He is using women's health rights as a diversion, when the real issue is Obama and his corrupt cronies waited till the last minute to push through a ridiculous budget, sacraficing crumbs, while irresponsibly squandering Trillions. Save America and Dump the traitors, Obama, Reid, and Pelosi !!!

    April 8, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
    • DAK

      You do know Pelosi isn't the speaker any longer, right? Where have you been?

      April 8, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
      • EL

        Actually, you are wrong. Pelosi is the minority speaker of the house. Where have you been?

        April 8, 2011 at 1:59 pm |
    • Keith Andre' Henry

      You sound more like the traitor, that is your President like it or not. If you think you can do a better job you are more than welcome to run in 2012 for President.

      April 8, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
  2. Keith Andre' Henry

    The country i grew up in once upon a time ago was called the United States of America but now i quess we should call ourselfs the Divided States of America.We are acting like a playground full of kids fighting over a piece of candy that does not belong to either party.If both sides take a second to think about what they are disagreeing about they will come to the understanding that if they cut the issue in portions the problem will be solved.But if you have two hardheaded kids they will not be satisfied with only a portion they want everything, untill they get it all they will cause problems . The kids in this story are Republicans and Democrats.The playground is the United States of America and the candy is the Budget.Let work to gether America ( United We Stand).

    April 8, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
  3. EL

    As for the article: Clinton's whole presidency wound up in some belt tightening for the US population - his shutdown only brought it to a head.

    There were no longer mother's benefits for widows during that time. The job training program thanks to Clinton saw many lose a job only to have the company hire three replacements (the gov't paid a portion of their wages for a period of time). Wages have remained essentially flat since the early 90's.

    Clinton inherited a Democratic Congress when his 1st term began. He lost the Democratic majority in January 1995 when the Republican's took up their gavels, but Clinton did have a balanced budget.

    I remember.

    April 8, 2011 at 2:18 pm |