The government shutdown for the longest period of time in the history of government shutdowns commencing midnight on Friday December 22 2018.  As a result the first day of the December government shutdown was Christmas Eve and lasted through the week followingafter Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

From December 23 to January 25, the 35 day December / January government shutdown was the longest government shutdown. A continuing resolution bill to reopen the government and backpay over 800,000 federal workers was quickly passed. President Trump had previously indicated that the government would stay shutdown until Congress gave him a bill that would fund his multi-billion dollar Mexican border wall. Read about the upcoming February 2019 government shutdown here.

TSA agents and aviation authority employees were forced to continue working for the month unpaid. It appeared to ultimately be their dissatisfaction with this status that ultimately forced the government to reopen. Widespread calling-in sick by these hardworking federal employees caused major travel delays across the US, including President Trump’s hometown of NYC.

The economic impact of this delayed travel likely pails in comparison to the total cost of the shutdown. The OMB estimates the impact at over $10 billion and we can look forward to ongoing analysis of the impact in years to come. It may impact the Federal Reserve decisions in months to come (to Trump’s delight or terror).

Trump at a rally - pre-government shutdown
Trump promised a border wall at many of his rallies

Millions of Americans faced financial insecurity over Christmas and most of January.  A stressful time of year was made even more so for the hundreds of thousands of federal employees had to work unpaid and the millions of employees and contractors who will be stopped from working altogether.

This was the third government shutdown on President Trumps watch.

As a result over 40 thousand law endorsement officers from ATF agents to FBI, DEA and US marshals will have to work without pay in the holiday season.  

Nearly 160 thousand Homeland Security employees will also face a situation of working without congress authorising their pay checks.  This includes weather service forecasters.

President Trump has been pushing for funding of a wall which may have ramped up due to the loss of Republican control of the House in the recent elections. 

More movement in healthcare also add to legislative pressures with Obamacare having a recent ruling that it may be unconstitutional.

Hundreds of thousands of employees will be forced out of work without pay 

This includes: 

  • 40,000 folks at of the Department of Commerce
  • Nearly all of the ~20k employees at NASA 
  • About 8 in 10 of the 20k National Park Service employees and 35k Forest Service employees
  • More than 50,000 people at the critically understaffed IRS will also be placed on forced unpaid leave.

We’ll  provide more updates to this page as we approach the government shutdown deadline this Friday.

According to one Federal employee union – the job satisfaction of the federal workforce has plunged in 2018. We may find that we close off the year at a low point if the December 2018 government shutdown occurs just before Christmas.