This US government shutdown is historic for one big reason

  • The federal government officially shut down at midnight on Saturday.
  • This is the first time in the history of the modern budget process that one party controls the government and employees are being furloughed during a shutdown.

The federal government entered the 18th partial shutdown of the modern budget era at midnight Saturday after the Senate failed to reach a deal on a funding bill.

The modern budget process began with the passage of the Budget Act of 1974. Since then, there have been a slew of different circumstances that prompted shutdowns, but this shutdown is unique for one reason.

This is the first time that one party has controlled the House, the Senate, and the White House during a shutdown in which federal employees are furloughed.

There have been shutdowns where one party has controlled all three parts of the government, all under President Jimmy Carter in the 1970s. But during those shutdowns, no government employees were sent home without pay, known as being on furlough.

There have been shutdowns in which employees have been furloughed, but those occurred under Presidents Ronald Reagan, George HW Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama when they did not have control of at least on chamber of Congress.

Republicans point out that the bill to avoid a shutdown needed 60 votes, and at least 10 Democrats, in the Senate in order for it to pass. In the end, while five Democrats voted for it, four Republicans also voted against the measure.

Thus, it’s the first time there has been one-party control of the government and employees are not being paid.

Welcome to history.

Us government shutdownsAndy Kiersz/Business Insider

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