Did you know that Republicans have caused the last four government shutdowns? As far back as Clinton in 1995, Obama in 2013, and two under Trump in 2018 and 2019 respectively. In 1995, House Speaker Newt Gingrich tried to pass egregious funding cuts on education, the environment, and public health which were vetoed by the sitting president. Bill Clinton had a strategy called "triangulation" which dictated that he would move to centrist economic positions if the Republican positions were popular in order to have a far broader appeal. The fact that Clinton didn't support these Republican cuts signals that they were grossly unpopular with the general public and Gingrich leveraged this opposition by refusing to raise the national debt until a government shutdown was called. The shutdown was so unpopular and so Republican that Gingrich's career was harmed due to the perception of pettiness. Republicans have only gotten worse since.
In 2013, President Obama was gearing up to pass the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the act colloquially known as Obamacare, which greatly expanded the coverages provided from Medicare and Medicaid. Republicans found the expansion egregious and set to work protecting the insurance companies that got them elected. They tried to pass a bill called the 2014 Continuing Appropriations Resolution bill, which existed to defund the ACA and added concessions to Republicans. Speaker of the House John Boehner threatened to default on the public debt so low income Americans wouldn't have increased access to health care. This game of chicken ended on October 16, 2013 within hours of the U.S. defaulting on its debt. In order to prevent "unnecessary" government spending on healthcare, the Republicans furloughed 850,000 federal employees and halted all federal processes to disrupt the lives of all Americans. The shutdown cost America a combined $24 billion or roughly $1.5 billion a day. This is the same party who wants to eradicate the School Lunches Program for underprivileged children because they believe $2 billion worth of fraud is being committed by starving kids annually. The food program has dropped food insecurity by 7% nationwide in 2020 and 14.2% in 2021. Never let a Republican tell you they care about government spending.
In January 2018, the Trump administration had already rescinded Obama's executive order which enshrined protections for the children of refugees for a two year period and granted them a work permit. The Trump administration demanded that congress pass a legislative solution for the 700,000 refugees whose permits would expire in March as a result of this act. The Democrats filibustered the Republicans proposal which sought to continue without providing any assurances. The ensuing shutdown lasted until an agreement was reached, despite the Republican attempt to deport 700,000 people via executive order which was narrowly avoided by the Democrats. Although the Democrats shut the government down in this instance, it was the only response to Republican callousness.
Finally, In 2019, when Donald Trump failed to secure funding for his border wall he took action. Trump demanded that Democrats who control the house authorize $5.7 billion to fund his border wall. This turned into the longest government shutdown in US history stretching 35 days. The Democrats refused to budge on the wall and reduced GDP by $11 billion with $3 billion being entirely unrecoverable. The three government shutdowns in 2013, 2018, and 2019 cost taxpayers an estimated $4 billion of their hard earned money. Eventually, Trump did not get his wall and a bipartisan bill was passed to reopen the government after a 35 day temper tantrum. With Trump now influencing the current House Republicans, he will be the individual responsible for the most and longest government shutdowns in history.
The pattern is repeated time and time again. Republican actions lead to government shutdowns and Republican concessions lead to government reopening's. As the White House braces for a shutdown, Donald Trump is calling for his loyalists in congress, such as Matt Gaetz and Marjorie Taylor-Greene, to keep pressuring House Speaker Kevin McCarthy for a shutdown. Will history repeat itself? The White House has already directed Federal agencies to get ready for a shutdown which seems all but certain after September 30th. Despite McCarthy's personal reservations, the party of Trump will not be deterred and Trump loyalist Matt Gaetz is demanding cuts that McCarthy can't provide. Welcome to round 5.