Sign outside of Library of Congress detailing the effects of the government shutdown.
CongressEconomic PolicyAmerican Government

Government Shutdown 2018

Posted on in Economic Policy · Congress · American Government

On January 20, due to the lack of funding, a government shutdown occurred. Federal workers were furloughed and national parks closed. Some blamed the shutdown on President Trump and the Republicans, as they control both the White House and Congress, while others blamed the Democrats for not agreeing to a short-term deal that extended CHIP.

Instructors, click the button below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom. The deck contains a writing prompt, a debate question, as well as other assessment questions.

Click here to download the Lecture Spark for the week of January 29th.


US government shutdown: How did we get here?

This is what happens during a US government shutdown

The History Of Government Shutdowns In The U.S.

Government shutdowns in US history: Should founders share blame?

More voters blamed Trump and GOP for shutdown than Democrats

Democrats, Trump to blame for government shutdown

Newt Gingrich: Schumer Shutdown turns into Schumer Surrender

Democrats’ shutdown deal looks worse and worse

Liberals livid after deal to end shutdown


  • Writing: Should Congress end filibusters when it comes to short term spending plans, making government shutdowns less likely?
  • Debate:  Government shutdowns are a robust sign of democracy because, sometimes, parties have differences of opinions that cannot easily be overcome.
  • Poll:  Who do you blame for the shutdown: Republicans, Democrats, or both?
  • Short Answer:  Given that the 2018 shutdown only lasted 3 days, why do you think there was so much media attention given to it?

Current events quiz:

1) No government shutdowns occurred during the presidency of Jimmy Carter (T/F)

2) Many liberals were angry that the Senate Minority Leader seemed to offer support for money to build the border wall as a concession during budget negotiations with the White House. (T/F)

3) The 2018 shutdown was the first to occur with one party in control of the White House and both houses of Congress. (T/F)

4) During a government shutdown:

a. National parks remain open
b. Congress does not get paid
c. Members of the military get furloughed
d. The White House shuts down
e. All of the above
f. None of the above

5) The longest government shutdown occurred during the presidency of

a. Jimmy Carter
b. Ronald Reagan
c. Bill Clinton
d. Barack Obama

Answer Key: