Government Shutdown History

Flashback to How Clinton Won the 1996 Shutdown

Former Clinton administration staffer Elaine Kamarck recalls how the previous shutdown was won:

Dean was an unassuming middle-aged man – a 49 year old veteran who had served in Vietnam and then gone to work for the Social Security’s Oklahoma City office where he’d been for the past 22 years. When the bomb went off, he went back into the burning building four times and ended up saving three of his co-workers and bringing out one dead body. After Clinton told his story with the cameras fixed on a quiet Mr. Dean sitting next to Hillary, the entire chamber burst into applause.

When it died down Clinton said:

“But Richard Dean’s story doesn’t end there. This last November, he was forced out of his office when the government shut down. And the second time the government shut down he continued helping Social Security recipients, but he was working without pay. 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.”

She also notes that the president simply has a stronger voice that a posse of relatively unfamiliar congressmen. Cruz and the others are destined to lose this fight. Sadly, they’re taking 800,000 government workers and the economy with them.

  • LTanya Spearman

    54/46 sent back to the house with a message: send the the senate clean CR res. to HOUSE floor for a up/down vote…

  • Badgerite

    I understand these ________(fill in the blank) still get paid even while the government is shutdown due to their actions. I think that should change. This should never be allowed to be used as a tactic by the GOP again. To that end, the paychecks of Congress should be stopped the minute everyone else’s is. If they are going to shutdown the government and they are the government, why, exactly, should we pay them?

    • IrishGrrrl

      My fill-in-the-blank is “ne’er do wells” (and that’s the nicest thing I could say about them)

      FSM knows, they haven’t been working at all since the 2010 mid-term elections. I think we should not only stop paying them but retroactively take their pay away as well.

  • feloniousgrammar

    You nay have inadvertently seeded a Clinton conspiracy that the right somehow missed.