Adriana Navarro
Jan 31 · 3 min read

The recent U.S. government shutdown has been one of the longest and possibly the most expensive in American history.

What happened?

From Dec. 22, 2018, to Jan. 25, 2019, the government underwent a partial shutdown as Congress stalled over a federal spending deal that included funding for a border wall.

On Dec. 19, the Senate passed a short-term funding bill, a continuing resolution (CR), in hopes of stalling a shutdown until February. It had no funding for a border wall, but Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn said President Donald Trump would sign it.

The next day, however, House Speaker Paul Ryan said Trump refused to sign the bill “because of his legitimate concerns for border security.” House Republicans were able to pass a spending bill that included $5.7 billion for a border wall.

But the bill failed to gain traction with Senate Democrats and was voted down on Dec. 21.

Federal funding ran out and with no agreement on a budget for the fiscal year by the midnight deadline, the government shut down.

On Jan. 25, Trump signed a short-term spending bill into law that didn’t include funding for a border wall, ending the shutdown. The bill will buy Congress time to agree on a budget by Feb. 15.

How much did it cost the economy?

The estimated cost of the shutdown ranges from $6 billion from the S&P Global Ratings to $11 billion from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).


On Jan. 25, S&P Global Ratings estimated the shutdown would cost $6 billion, about $3.4 billion more than the government shutdown in 2013 under President Obama and $3 million more than the amount President Trump requested for the southern border wall.


Earlier in the month, Moody’s Analytics estimated the shutdown could cost about $8.7 billion if it lasted until the end of January.

The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) said the 35-day partial shutdown has cost the economy $11 billion, $3 billion of which was permanently lost. The CBO estimates that the economy will recover the other $8 billion as federal workers receive and spend their long-awaited paychecks.

How long is long?

Since 1976, there have been at least 21 government shutdowns due to gaps in funding.

Source: CNN

The shutdown shattered the previous record of 21 consecutive days set under former President Bill Clinton.

Source: Grafiti

Former President Jimmy Carter had set the highest record for the total number of days in a shutdown at 56. Although President Trump did not reached that number, he currently sits at second place with 39 days.


Grafiti is the first search engine for graphs & charts.

Adriana Navarro

Written by



Grafiti is the first search engine for graphs & charts.

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