See how long past government shutdowns lasted — and which parties were in power

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Unless Congress acts soon, the federal government will shut down. Again.

Government funding runs out at 12:01 a.m. on Oct. 1, meaning Congress has just a few days to come up with a solution so that millions of federal workers don’t potentially lose out on getting paid.

Their fate rests mostly in the hands of House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and his bickering caucus, which can’t agree on whether it’s more important to keep the government running or to pass drastic spending cuts demanded by his most conservative members.

In the past four decades, the government has shut down 20 times. There were some shutdowns in the 1970s that lasted more than a week, but subsequent ones were pretty short until 1995, when then-President Bill Clinton faced off against a Republican House and Senate that led to two shutdowns for a total of 26 days.

We’d like to hear from you about how you’re preparing for a possible government shutdown, whether you might be out of work or feel the effects of shuttered services. Please contact us at [email protected] or reach out to us here.

In 1996, Clinton gave a State of the Union address that shamed Republicans for shutting down the government, honoring Richard Dean, a public servant who risked his life to save his colleagues during the Oklahoma City bombing.

“On behalf of Richard Dean and his family, and all the other people who are out there working every day doing a good job for the American people, I challenge all of you in this Chamber: Never, ever shut the federal government down again,” Clinton said in a speech that came off as a political win for the president at the time.

And indeed, there were no more shutdowns — at least for a couple more decades, when then-President Barack Obama faced a Republican-controlled House in 2013.

The longest one, however, was also the most recent, when the government shut down for a full 34 days under then-President Donald Trump over border wall funding.

See how long the past government shutdowns lasted and which parties were in power:

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