The government shutdown has become the longest on record — by a wide margin
17 January 2019 15:47
At 27 days in duration as of Thursday, the current partial government shutdown has become the longest one on record, based on figures that go back more than 40 years.
It now easily exceeds the prior record, which had been held by a 21-day closure during the Clinton administration that began in December 1995.
Analysts have noted that the impact of the current shutdown is somewhat limited, as it’s affecting agencies that represent about 25% of total government spending. But the White House has doubled its estimate of the shutdown’s impact on gross domestic product, forecasting it will trim first-quarter GDP by 0.5 percentage points if it lasts through January.
The ongoing shutdown has been sparked by a dispute over money for President Donald Trump’s proposed wall at the southern border. The president last week said he could declare a national emergency in order to build his wall if there’s no funding deal with top Democratic lawmakers, but he then backed away from any imminent national-emergency declaration. Trump on Thursday canceled an overseas trip by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, citing the shutdown, with his move coming after the Democratic lawmaker urged him to postpone the State of the Union address because of the closure.
Shutdown-related worries have played a role in sending the stock market SPX, +0.76% sharply lower in recent weeks. The Dow DJIA, +0.67% has rallied about 4% in January, but it dived around 9% in December.
This report was first published on Jan. 3, 2019.