Bill Clinton and Bob Dole
Greg Gibson/AP
January 13, 2019

The Longest Government Shutdown In History, No Longer — How 1995 Changed Everything

It took three full weeks — 21 days — for President Bill Clinton and the Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich to settle an impasse that partially shut down the government in 1995-96. That particular moment is a landmark in U.S. political history, birthing a new era of American gridlock that arguably led to the sharp partisanship that has gripped the nation — and delivered a new record for a partial government shutdown, marking Day 22 on Saturday.

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Customer buying book Fire and Fury
Charles Rex Arbogast/AP
January 06, 2018

The New Year Rings In With 'Fire And Fury.' It Might Mean A Consequential 2018

So, 2018 picked up where 2017 left off with eye-popping palace intrigue mixed with the widening net of the Department of Justice's Russia investigation. The week's highlights included tabloidlike, tell-all details from the new book Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House with explosive on-the-record and blind quotes from White House insiders. 

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Congressman Aaron Schock in Peoria on February 6th.
(AP File Photo/Seth Perlman)
March 20, 2015

AP Source: Rep. Schock Under Federal Investigation

A person familiar with the case tells The Associated Press that the Justice Department is formally investigating whether Rep. Aaron Schock of Illinois, who has submitted his resignation, committed crimes with his office expenditures and business dealings.

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Mitch Daniels
(Indiana Public Media)
October 09, 2013

Conservative Think Tank Paid Daniels For speech

A Purdue University spokeswoman says school President Mitch Daniels was paid for a speech at a conservative Minnesota think tank's fundraiser that some believe broke his pledge to avoid partisan politics.

Purdue spokeswoman Shelley Triol said the payment amount for Monday's speech by Daniels wasn't being disclosed at the request of The Center of the American Experiment. She told the Journal & Courier that Daniels isn't required to disclose what he's paid for such events.

The former Indiana governor traveled on a Purdue plane to Minneapolis for the speech and then to New York to take part Tuesday in NBC News' Education Nation panel.

Purdue trustees chairman Tom Spurgeon said Daniels' use of the school plane was appropriate and that Purdue benefits from him speaking at conferences and events.

Denny Hastert
(Brian Kersey/AP)
October 08, 2013

Former U.S. House Speaker Weighs In On Shutdown

Former U.S. House Speaker Denny Hastert (R-Ill.) says he cannot answer how or when, but he is confident the partial federal government shutdown will come to an end. 

Hastert was not the Speaker of the U.S. House during the last government shutdown, but he was an Illinois Congressman in 1995 and '96. He said back then, Republicans were trying to get a handle on spending. He says it worked.

"We came out with a budget agreement and because of that budget agreement the first three years that I was Speaker we able to pay down about $650 billion of public debt,” Hastert said. “You know, that was, that was, a good result out of that. It was something that was necessary and that's what we did."

Hastert said this is different. He said Washington has failed to reconcile a budget on time, and that causes a logjam.

"If you get in these types of pressure cooker situations it's artificial, because people made it happen,” he noted. “If you go regular process you would never had had it happen.  In the eight years I was speaker we always went regular process."

"The President at least has to put something on the table, so that they begin to bargain," he added.

Hastert's long-term idea for resolving Washington's problems is less obvious. It is not about the budget, and it is not related to the Affordable Care Act.

"You have to change the campaign system," he said.

Hastert blames D.C.'s gridlock on the McCain-Feingold campaign finance law. He said it took money away from parties, and instead drove contributions and candidates to the far right and the far left.

"I think that Congress has become much more polarized because of McCain-Feingold,” he said. “When it becomes polarized, it's very much more difficult to find solutions to problems."

Republican members of the U.S. House are refusing to pass a spending bill without a delay of the Affordable Care Act.


Furloughed federal workers
(Win McNamee/Getty Images)
October 05, 2013

House Passes Bill Allowing Back Pay For Furloughed Workers

Federal workers who were furloughed by a government shutdown will receive back pay once they return to work, if a bill approved by the House of Representatives Saturday meets Senate approval.

The White House has said it favors such a move.

The vote came after the U.S. government began the fifth day of a shutdown that has put 800,000 people out of work. The bill was approved without a vote against it. The Senate is expected to hold its own Saturday session that begins at midday.

The back-pay bill is one of several piecemeal funding measures the House has taken up since the shutdown began. Others include money for "veterans' benefits, nutrition assistance for low-income women and children, and emergency and disaster recovery," as C-SPAN reports.

Update at 12:20 p.m. ET: Funding For Military Religious Services

As NPR's David Welna reports for our Newscast unit, the House also passed a bill that would allow military chaplains to hold services this weekend.

"House Republicans expressed outrage that military chaplains might be prevented from holding services because of the shutdown," David says.

During debate on the measure, Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Kan., asked, "Is it really the policy of this administration to make church services illegal? To threaten Catholic priests with jail?"

"Only one House member opposed a resolution allowing the chaplains to do their jobs," David says. "Senate approval is expected for both measures."

If you're wondering, that lone House member is Rep. William Enyart, D-Ill.

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