As compelled by the Constitution, all 3 branches that the federal government are funded v the appropriations process in the United says Congress. All commonwealth spending receipt originate in the of Representatives, wherein they loss under the jurisdiction of the Committee on Appropriations. In 1865, the moved the appropriations duty away native the methods and method Committee, creating the Appropriations Committee to oversee the spending needs of the Union’s battle effort during the waning job of the polite War. Because then, the obligations and also responsibilities of the federal government have only grown.

Because the appropriations procedure can be together a complex task, the Appropriations Committee divides its work amongst 12 subcommittees, every of i beg your pardon is responsible for developing a bill that funds specific departments and areas that the government. Like any type of other bill, spending steps must happen both the and Senate and also be signed through the president to end up being law. Congress conducts the appropriations process annually, for each fiscal year start every October 1. If continual appropriations bills are not signed into law prior to the begin of the new fiscal year, Congress deserve to pass a continuing resolution, or CR, which provides temporary capital in the interim period before constant appropriations bills room passed. If a brand-new fiscal year starts or a proceeding resolution expires there is no Congress appropriating brand-new funds, components of the federal federal government can endure a slide out in funding.

/tiles/non-collection/i/i_shutdowns_appropriations_2006_087_001.xml arsenal of the U.S. Home of Representatives around this thing This 1888 publish illustrates the Appropriations Committee in session with Chairman Samuel Randall in ~ the head the the table, on the left.

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Prior to the 1980s, funding gaps did not frequently have major effects on federal government operations. Government agencies would often proceed to operate during a slide out in appropriations, v the expectation that funding would be detailed in the future.1 In 1980 and also 1981, however, United says Attorney general Benjamin Civiletti created a series of legitimate opinions that created the basis for government shutdowns. Civiletti called for a stricter interpretation of the Antideficiency Act, a longstanding legislation that prohibits federal government agencies from authorizing expenditure in overfill of the amount Congress detailed them by law. Ultimately, the lawyer General thought government agencies had actually no legal method to operate throughout a capital gap.2 start with the appropriations process for fiscal year 1982, numerous subsequent resources gaps have resulted in a shutdown of impacted agencies, in i beg your pardon day-to-day work halt and also employees room furloughed without pay. Eventually, commonwealth officials sculpted out exemptions for government employees understood “essential,” favor military and law enforcement personnel connected in the protection of life and also property.

Funding Gaps since 1977

The table below lists capital gaps that have actually lasted because that at the very least one full day.3 The "Shutdown actions Followed" obelisk is significant "yes" if agencies were closed and their employee furloughed as a result of the capital gap. This has both full and partial shutdowns. In part instances, resources gaps ~ 1980 had minimal effects on federal government operations because the gaps were either too brief or developed over a weekend, definition affected organ did not start shutdown procedures before Congress revived funding.4

Fiscal YearDate resources EndedDuration ofFunding Gap(in Days) day FundingRestoredShutdownProcedures complied with LegislationRestoringFunding
1977September 30, 197610October 11, 1976NoH.J. Res. 1105Pub. L. 94-47390 Stat. 2065
1978September 30, 197712October 13, 1977NoH.J. Res. 626Pub. L. 95-13091 Stat. 1153
1978October 31, 19778November 9, 1977NoH.J. Res. 643Pub. L. 95-16591 Stat. 1323
1978November 30, 19778December 9, 1977NoH.J. Res 662Pub. L. 95-20591 Stat. 1460
1979September 30, 197817October 18, 1978NoH.R. 12929Pub. L. 95-48092 Stat. 1567H.R. 12931Pub. L. 95-48192 Stat. 1591 H.J. Res. 1139Pub. L. 95-48292 Stat. 1603
1980September 30, 197911October 12, 1979NoH.J. Res. 412Pub. L. 96-8693 Stat. 656
1982November 20, 19812November 23, 1981Yes5H.J. Res. 368Pub. L. 97-8595 Stat. 1098
1983September 30, 19821October 2, 1982Yes6H.J. Res. 599Pub. L. 97-27696 Stat. 1186
1983December 17, 19823December 21, 1982No7H.J. Res. 631Pub. L. 97-37796 Stat. 1830
1984November 10, 19833November 14, 1983No8H.J. Res 413Pub. L. 98-15197 Stat. 964
1985September 30, 19842October 3, 1984No9H.J. Res. 653Pub. L. 98-44198 Stat. 1699
1985October 3, 19841October 5, 1984Yes10H.J. Res. 656Pub. L. 98-45398 Stat. 1731
1987October 16, 19861October 18, 1986Yes11H.J. Res. 73812Pub. L. 99-500100 Stat. 1783Pub. L. 99-591100 Stat. 3341
1988December 18, 19871December 20, 1987No13H.J. Res. 431Pub. L. 100-197101 Stat. 1314
1991October 5, 19903October 9, 1990Yes14H.J. Res. 666Pub. L. 101-412104 Stat. 894
1996November 13, 19955November 19, 1995Yes15H.R. 2020Pub. L. 104-52109 Stat. 468H.R. 2492Pub. L. 104-53109 Stat. 514H.J. Res. 123Pub. L. 104-54109 Stat. 540
1996December 15, 199521January 6, 1996Yes16H.J. Res. 134Pub. L. 104-94110 Stat. 25
2014September 30, 201316October 17, 2013YesH.R. 2775Pub. L. 113-46127 Stat. 558
2018January 19, 20182January 22, 2018Yes17H.R. 195Pub. L. 115-120132 Stat. 28
2019December 21, 201834January 25, 2019YesH.J. Res. 28Pub. L. 116-5133 Stat. 10


1James V. Saturno, “Federal capital Gaps: A brief Overview,” Report RS20348, 4 February 2019, Congressional research Service: 4,

2Saturno, “Federal capital Gaps”: 1; 16 Stat. 251 (1870).

3Saturno, “Federal capital Gaps”: 3.

4Saturno, “Federal resources Gaps”: 2.

5“Shutdown Questions, Answers,” 24 November 1981, Washington Post: A5.

6Mike Causey, “The commonwealth Diary: expense of Day"s Chaos roughly $88 Million,” 3 October 1982, Washington Post: C2; “Stopgap capital Measure Adopted,” 1 October 1982, Atlanta Constitution: 3A. While furloughs were not anticipated on October 1 in this case, some offices were told to execute only important operations and to monitor shutdown procedures. It was unclear even if it is employees were still required to report come work.

7Karlyn Barker, “White residence Tells civil Servants to Report come Work,” 21 December 1982, Washington Post: A7.

8Paul Houston, “Seven Agencies run Out the Money together Stopgap funding Bill Is Delayed,” 11 November 1983, Los Angeles Times: B5; “Funding invoice is Signed through Reagan,” 15 November 1983, Philadelphia Inquirer: A5.

9On October 1, conference passed a three-day stopgap safety bill, yet the chairman didn’t authorize it till October 3. In this instance, the anticipated resources prevented a shutdown during the three-day period. View Paul Houston, “Congress overcome Stopgap spending Bill,” 2 October 1984, Los Angeles Times: 4, and Helen Dewar, “Federal Shutdown Readied as Senate works on Funding,” 4 October 1984, Washington Post: A1; Public regulation 98-441, 98 Stat. 1699.

10U.S. Go "Broke," Furloughs 500,000,” 4 October 1984, Philadelphia everyday News: 4.

11Sharon LaFraniere and also Peter Perl, “Federal Workers create Noon Stampede: many of 350,000 Employes below Sent home in Spending invoice Crisis,” 18 October 1986, Washington Post: A1.

12The President an initial signed H. J. Res. 738 right into law on October 18, 1986, wherein it ended up being Public legislation 99-500. It was later uncovered that a clerical error throughout the enrollment process caused number of lines from the bill to be omitted. The chairman signed a corrected version of H. J. Res. 738 ~ above October 30, which came to be Public legislation 99-591.

13Karen Tumulty, “Congress near Money invoice Accord: Emergency 1-Day funding Averts commonwealth Shutdown,” 21 December 1987, Los Angeles Times: SDA1; Tom Kenworthy and also Anne Swardson, “Congress Okays Stopgap Money,” 21 December 1987, St. Petersburg Times: 1A; Karen Tumulty, “Deal Sought end Funds because that Contras, commonwealth Shutdown Looms as Congress Awaits Money Bill,” 20 December 1987, Los Angeles Times: 1.

14National parks and also federal museums to be closed but most employee were no affected; resources was revitalized before the end of the weekend. Elaine Povich, “Bush, conference Ok setup to Avert commonwealth Shutdown,” 9 October 1990, Chicago Tribune: D1.

15Robert Manor et al., “Federal Workers obtain Sent Home, Shutdown means Job Limbo because that Thousands Here,” 15 November 1995, St. Luigi Dispatch: 1.A.

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16Eric Pianin and John F. Harris, “Clinton indicators Measures come Halt Shutdown,” 6 January 1996, Washington Post: A1.