Friday, September 10, 2010

Government Shutdowns--Memories of the Last One

Bloggers and others are starting to pay attention to the possibility that, with the Republicans winning the House and maybe the Senate in November, the next step would be a government shutdown based on a fight between the Reps and the President over budget issues.

I was still working during the shutdowns when Clinton and Gingrich faced off, riding a vanpool in from Reston. As it turned out, the pool included a mixture.  Some people always went to work.  My memory is vague, but I think one guy worked for a section of the Agricultural Marketing Service which was funded by fees, so the lack of appropriations bills had no impact on him.  Then there were several different appropriations bills being considered under different time schedules.  I think Justice got funded pretty quickly; Newt decided that cutting off funds for prisons and law enforcement wasn't good politics and I think one of our riders worked for DOJ. The rest of the pool came back to work in a couple of phases, USDA was deemed more essential than some other people (maybe Interior). 

Shutting down the government always makes for interesting theater and politics.

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