WASHINGTON -- Federal operations have shut down three times in the last decade because of failures of Congress to pass an operating budget for a new fiscal year.
The previous closures lasted a day or less before the budget impasse was resolved.
The first occasion was Nov. 23, 1981, when President Ronald Reagan, in a struggle with Congress, ordered the furlough of 400,000 of the government's 2.1 million employees, those deemed non-essential to protect life, national security or federal property.
This was the first time a chief executive had ordered so large " "TC shutdown of federal operations.
The Subcommittee on Civil Service of the House Committee on Post Office and Civil Service later estimated that the one-day furlough cost the taxpayers $80 million to $90 million in back pay and related expenses.