Talk:1995–1996 United States federal government shutdowns

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One of the worst, biased and incomplete articles I've ever seen. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:56, 12 April 2008 (UTC)

This article does not discuss the events leading up to the shutdown. Omitting these facts tends to bias the article toward the conservative viewpoint. As such, I have serious concerns about the neutrality of this article. Naptastic (talk) 06:15, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Sure. Be Bold and insert the material you feel is lacking. No one will fault you for making the article longer.--Loodog (talk) 20:06, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
I've included the events leading up to the shutdown. My source was Bill Clinton's My Life, so the result may be biased. Essentially, in a non-biased way, the government shutdown was both sides unwilling to compromise enough on a budget as a consequence of disagreements on program cuts and projected revenues.--Loodog (talk) 21:25, 5 February 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for this. My concern is that there is a lot of information here that is dependent on a source who has a big personal stake in the events being viewed historically in his preferred way. We should find more reliable sources to substantiate this or else make it explicit that this is Clinton's account of the event. ⟳ausa کui × 22:48, 5 February 2009 (UTC)
On Gingrich's page there's a bit more detail and an account from Repub Tom Delay. I've included that.--Loodog (talk) 23:15, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

The comment stating they need to raise the dept ceiling, needs clarification; was the claim political or factual? Both the administration and Gingrich submitted a balanced budget, why would the ceiling need to be raised? The differences were fundamentally between Democrat and Republican on how to balance the budget, what cuts would help or hurt the county. The article is written to suggest Gingrich wouldn't need to raise the ceiling for his budget, but Clinton would, that was not the case and is misleading. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bayhuntr (talkcontribs) 03:58, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

-- Agreed. This article looks like something right out of one of Hitler's propaganda campaigns.

No wonder Wikipedia is not considered a reliable source by the university librarians I've run into. This is one of many articles with POV problems. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:55, 6 April 2011 (UTC)

Second Shutdown[edit]

Would love more info on the second shutdown fromm December 16, 1995 to January 6, 1996. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Asherkobin (talkcontribs) 17:22, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

In fiction[edit]

The West Wing portrays a shut down similar to the 1995 shut down in season 5 (episode 7-8). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:17, 5 February 2009 (UTC)


The result section summarizes the political fallout but it never actually summarizes the end to the crisis: eventually a budget was passed that put the US on track for a balanced budget. Dark567 (talk) 16:05, 20 April 2010 (UTC)

Very well. Go for it.--Louiedog (talk) 17:57, 20 April 2010 (UTC)
Hasn't been fixed yet (as far as I can tell). I don't know enough to edit this - how did the different parties modify their stances to reach a compromise? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:58, 9 June 2013 (UTC)

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Also possibly worth noting[edit]

While WP is an encyclopedia and not a gossip mag, I think something from reliable published sources should be added to note the dovetailing between the Monica Lewinsky encounters and the shutdown. The reports on the matter, and their summaries, observe at various points that the early encounters occurred during the November shutdown period, and some published sources I've read via newspapers (not gossip mags) draw connections between the two timelines. It's a relevant part of the story.

"Reviewer Jerry Schwartz of the Associated Press has written that the former president's autobiography relies on a mind-numbing chronology, with one exception: 'Clinton tells about his indiscretions with [Gennifer] Flowers and Monica Lewinsky only when he is caught and exposed — not when they happened.' That's true. Clinton discusses the government shutdown battle of November 15, 1995 on page 683. He does not mention his misconduct with Lewinsky until page 773.
"How much more interesting his book would have been if he had discussed what he did that day — the meetings, the strategizing, the battling with Gingrich — and then told us what he did that night, with Lewinsky.
"He had another encounter with Lewinsky on November 17, as the shutdown battle continued. He might have worked that into the story — as it happened. All of which might have given readers a vivid sense of what his life was actually like — at one moment being president, at another moment engaging in insanely reckless behavior that would lead to impeachment."
Government Publication Office copy of the Starr narrative
CNN piece about the discrepancy between his original testimony and his account in the autobiography

You get the idea. I'm not any kind of a mission related to this; I just think a complete picture of the shutdown includes its importance in this strange segment of presidential history. Lawikitejana (talk) 09:36, 31 July 2010 (UTC)

On another note: I remember it being 'Newt and the Young Republicans' that chose to shutdown the government because they didn't get what they wanted (budget items). I don't recall it being a unified act by the republican party. The article doesn't mention the 'Young Republicans' group at all and without them he would not have had the support needed to bring the shutdown. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:51, 22 November 2011 (UTC)


  • major portions of the federal government became inoperative

Which portions? Can't you give even a single example? --Uncle Ed (talk) 16:50, 17 December 2010 (UTC)


This article really ought to address how the situation ended. How did the government "reopen"? --BDD (talk) 23:31, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

Indeed. With a potential shutdown looming, I am severely disappointed by the lack of info in this article. – Muboshgu (talk) 01:43, 8 April 2011 (UTC)

Were the cost savings real or symbolic?[edit]

The government shutdown was ostentatiously to save money, but the only figure given in the article is how much the shutdown cost (mainly in compensation to workers). There are no figures given for how much money was saved if any. I wanted to know whether the shutdown achieved its aim financially (obviously it did politically). It is relevant to current affairs because if the '95 shutdown did not actually save money, it will be harder for a President to perform the same action for the same reason again. Mykro (talk) 01:31, 20 July 2011 (UTC)

Back pay[edit]

IIRC, the government workers eventually received back pay. Worth adding this to the article?  little green rosetta(talk)
central scrutinizer
06:43, 3 March 2013 (UTC)

  • It's true. Source from the Washington Post: [1] Feel free to add to the article. ~ Quacks Like a Duck (talk) 16:32, 29 September 2013 (UTC)


How did the standoff end? There's no detailed discussion of the negotiations over September to January. For what was one of the major events out of Washington in the 1990s, this article has been incredibly sparse for years. It was even in the age of the internet, so there's got to be a volume of primary sources. The amount of content here makes you think the shutdown occurred in 1895. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:05, 23 September 2013 (UTC)

In just some quick searching, I found this, which included a list of departments & agencies affected by the 2nd shutdown: — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:25, 23 September 2013 (UTC)

Debt ceiling[edit]

This article needs expansion on the debt-ceiling and creative accounting to avoid breaching it. Such as that studied in -- (talk) 22:49, 1 October 2013 (UTC)


The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Moved to United States federal government shutdowns of 1995 and 1995-96. This entire discussion was an ugly mess, poorly formatted and unclear, made worse when the page was actually moved during the move request (!!). The title of the page as I close this request, United States federal government shutdowns of 1995–96, had little or no support and the move should not have taken place. Nobody likes this location for the article; it makes a mockery of at least two of the five naming criteria. But the move makes it awkward to declare no consensus, especially since (though I disagree with the action) there's something of a clear consensus to put "shutdowns" in the plural (which makes sense because, well, there were two different government shutdowns). There were proposals to abbreviate United States, which did not really attract enough support, and to turn 1995-96 into 1996, which I seriously considered but then rejected because it's not strictly accurate--the '96 shutdown still mostly occurred in 1995. In summary, I hate this move request, but this has got to go somewhere, and at least this title is accurate. (non-admin closure) Red Slash 18:37, 27 October 2013 (UTC)

--Relisted. Red Slash 02:29, 20 October 2013 (UTC)

The problem with titles like that is that they're easily readable but not easily searchable, since the list in the search box matches titles from the beginning. Readers don't search by starting with a year (or especially a date range), so the title wouldn't be easy to find. Of course, the various redirects would still exist, but you see the point. (talk) 15:17, 22 October 2013 (UTC)
I'm not convinced that readers don't search by starting with the year: 2013_US_government_shutdown has been viewed 2533 times in the last 90 days [2] whereas US_government_shutdown_of_2013 has been viewed 2291 times.
I'm not convinced that having the year at the beginning of the title will make the page hard to find: when I search for 2013 US government, the first page of results includes 2013 mass surveillance disclosures.
If is right, my suggestion of writing "US government" as a shorter form of "United States federal government" may still be salvageable. The term I suggested is commonly used and may be the most common. —rybec 18:30, 22 October 2013 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: page moved. Anthony Appleyard (talk) 16:12, 20 December 2013 (UTC)

United States federal government shutdowns of 1995 and 1995-96United States federal government shutdowns of 1995 and 1995–96MOS:HYPHENrybec 00:27, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

The hyphen in the title of this article should be replaced with an en dash (per MOS:). Toccata quarta (talk) 20:39, 19 November 2013 (UTC)

The Manual of Style's recommendations about punctuation do apply to the names of articles, but I think the mandated styling of "–" rather than "-" is unhelpful. Dashes turn into mojibake such as Russian famine of 1601\xE2\x80\x931603, and I feel that people doing searches are likely to search using a hyphen rather than an en dash. —rybec 21:07, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
Can't that be taken care of with redirects? Also, there are countless pages on Wikipedia with correct use of en dashes in titles. Toccata quarta (talk) 21:24, 19 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Support original proposal. There is no reason to include the mojibake in the article URL, and there is plenty of precedent for use of the plain vanilla dash, for example 2013–14 Premier League.  — Amakuru (talk) 10:52, 28 November 2013 (UTC)
Amakuru, are you referring to the previous RM? It sounds like you oppose this move. --BDD (talk) 22:48, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
Apologies, I completely misunderstood the debate. I thought the comment about mojibake was to do with whether the dash is represented as a simple dash – or as a unicode escape sequence such as those in the Russian famine link above. I'm not really an expert on dashes, and I don't necessarily understand the full implications of using a unicode character rather than an ASCII hyphen, but it is in the MOS and does look better in my opinion, so I'm happy to support the move to United States federal government shutdowns of 1995 and 1995–96. Thanks  — Amakuru (talk) 10:22, 3 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Neutral. I did not consider the difference between a dash and a hyphen when I closed the previous RM. Red Slash 20:20, 30 November 2013 (UTC)
  • Support I dislike the en dash. I really do. It's neither well used nor well understood, it's difficult to type, and it doesn't even display that differently than the dash—*or sometimes at all, depending on the font (*I love em dashes, however). If anyone ever wanted to float a proposal to deprecate en dashes on Wikipedia and replace them with hyphens, I'd enthusiastically support it, but while this pedantry is part of the MOS, we might as well follow it. --BDD (talk) 22:48, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment. I can't see the difference (its a longer dash?), but why do we need the word "federal"? Is the United_States_government ambiguous? --SmokeyJoe (talk) 03:23, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
Even "US government" is a commonly-used, unambiguous term, as I mentioned in my comment of 04:28, 20 October 2013.
If you use a proper font (not monospaced) and look closely, yes, the en dash is longer than the hyphen. Compare:
  • – (en dash)
  • - (hyphen)
Wikipedia policies say we should use an en dash. I was just being grumpy because the keymap I use doesn't include that character. —rybec 04:01, 18 December 2013 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

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Current title[edit]

One of previous RMs resulted in using "United States federal government shutdowns of 1995 and 1995–96". Somehow, the title was changed back to "United States federal government shutdowns of 1995–1996" without another RM discussion. I wonder whether anyone is all right with the current title. George Ho (talk) 23:38, 20 January 2018 (UTC)

Move discussion in progress[edit]

There is a move discussion in progress on Talk:United States federal government shutdown of 2018–2019 which affects this page. Please participate on that page and not in this talk page section. Thank you. —RMCD bot 18:19, 11 January 2019 (UTC)

Remove the padlock and let them edit/Complaints[edit]

I'm very disappointed that wikipedian MelanieN had this article fully protected and DENYING others to edit. THIS IS NOT RIGHT! Wikipedia is supposed to be The Free Encyclopedia, The So-Called Protection Policy is a joke! Remove the padlock and let them edit!

MelanieN is a disgrace to wikipedia! Wikipedia has gone downhill. I retired as a Wikipedian three years ago due to creative differences. Spencer H. Karter (talk) 22:08, 13 January 2019 (UTC)