Newly elected House Speaker Mike Johnson may have averted a government shutdown this week, but Congress has teed up another shutdown threat in the new year with funding deadlines looming on January 19 and February 2 in 2024. The last government shutdown, from December 22, 2018 to January 25, 2019, lasted 35 days and was the longest in four decades.
While government shutdowns have become less common in recent decades — there have been six since 1990 — an increasingly partisan Washington has left Congress unable to resolve sticking points on spending for longer periods of time.
With Johnson overseeing one of the narrowest and most factitious congressional majorities in decades, there’s no telling how long a government shutdown could last. And the stakes are high — the expiring stopgap funding bill that former Speaker Kevin McCarthy engineered with Democrats in September ultimately cost him the gavel.
Here’s all the government shutdowns since the early 1980s, when agencies were instructed to stop normal operations during funding lapses.