CongressAmerican GovernmentThe Presidency

The Government Shutdown

Posted on in Congress · American Government · The Presidency

The longest partial shutdown in U.S. history came to an end this past weekend when the president agreed to reopen the government for three weeks. President Trump did not receive any additional funding for his top priority, a border wall.

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

Download the PowerPoint Lecture Spark for The Government Shutdown


“Shutdown fallout intensifies, as officials signal stalemate could last much longer”

“How senators voted: These lawmakers crossed the aisle to vote for plans to reopen government”

“Senate rejects dueling proposals to end the shutdown”

“Trump says he’ll back potential McConnell, Schumer deal after Senate shutdown votes fail”

“Why should a government shutdown affect airport security?”

“Trump’s weak negotiation skills caused this government shutdown”

“Trump’s shutdown nightmare: A choice between the economy and the wall ”

“The real reason the Senate is taking two doomed votes to end the shutdown”


  • Writing: Why was the federal government shut down for 35 days?
  • Debate: Federal government shutdowns are too disruptive and should never be used as a weapon in public policymaking.
  • Poll: Should Congress agree to the president’s demand for $5 billion for a border wall?
  • Short Answer: Which of the president’s priorities did Congress agree to fund before passing a bill to reopen the government until February 15?

Current events quiz:

1) Which branch of the military is the only one affected by the partial government shutdown?

a. The Navy
b. The Army
c. The Coast Guard
d. The Marine Corps

2) Among the senators who crossed partisan lines to vote for bills to reopen the government are:

a. Senator Romney
b. Senator McConnell
c. Senator Schumer
d. Senator Booker

3) Donald Trump is demanding how much money for his border wall and increased border security?

a. 5.7 million
b. 5.7 billion
c. 7.4 million
d. 6.8 billion

4) Presidents who had shutdowns during their administrations include:

a. Reagan, Carter, and Ford
b. Nixon, Obama, and Teddy Roosevelt
c. Jackson, Jefferson, and Madison
d. George W. Bush, Obama, and Taft

5) What was the primary cause of the most recent government shutdown?

a. DACA negotiations
b. Lack of border wall funding
c. Healthcare bill negotiations
d. Failure to act on gun control bills

6) During the shutdown, economic growth figures fell at approximately what percent per week?

a. 1/10
b. 1/5
c. 1/20
d. 3/10

7) Donald Trump said that he would support a three-week continuing resolution to fund the government as long as it included a large down-payment on the border wall construction. (T/F)

8) Donald Trump has said that he will not postpone the State of the Union, but instead figure out a different medium and venue to deliver it through. (T/F)

9) An FBI agent said that the 4 week shutdown has actually resulted in 8 weeks of impact for federal workers. (T/F)

10) Many people are concerned about and have been affected by the shutdown as it relates to airport security and functioning. (T/F)

11) Members of Congress are not permitted to receive pay during the government shutdown. (T/F)

12)The shutdown will likely result in detrimental effects to the economy the longer it lasts. (T/F)


1) C

2) A

3) A

4) A

5) B

6) A

7) True

8) False

9) True

10) True

11) False

12) True

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