The last time that the federal government was shutdown as in the 90’s. President Clinton and Speaker Gingrich didn’t see eye to eye. The shutdown came in two parts with the longest such disruption lasting 3 weeks.
Who paid the price?
It’s widely understood that the republican’s lost. Scott Erb even has a post as such:
The first shut down was from November 14-19, 1995, followed by a second from December 16, 1995 to January 6, 1996. The Republicans suffered politically from that shutdown…
Indeed. Republicans suffered politically. However, what would that mean? To me, a political loss would manifest itself in any number of ways:
- Loss of Presidential Election
- Loss of seats in the House
- Loss of seats in the Senate
- Loss of policy debate
A very strong case can be made that the democrats won on point #1. Clinton went on win his second term. However, the debate is much less clear after that.
Take the House for example. The make-up in the years before and after the shutdown:
1993-1995 258 Democrats with 176 Republicans
1995-1997 204 Democrats with 230 Republicans
1997-1999 207 Democrats with 227 Republicans
1993-1995 57 Democrats with 43 Republicans
1995-1997 48 Democrats with 52 Republicans
1997-1999 45 Democrats with 55 Republicans
And finally the policy.
The republicans balanced the budget and won welfare reform.
I’d say that the win goes to the republicans.