In early November 1995, the United States federal government began experiencing problems between Congress and the White House. These problems were due to proposed funding for Medicare, the environment, the educational system, and public health in the 1996 federal budget. Since no agreement could be reached, the federal government was forced to shut down. Former Democratic President Bill Clinton and Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich debated heavily on these budget issues. The government was shut down for 27 days between November 13-19, 1995 and December 6-January 16, 1996. The shutdown had a large impact on the federal government, Wall Street, and the citizens of the United States. .
A government shutdown is the closure of non-essential offices to the government when Congress can not reach an agreement on government budgets for the next fiscal year. Approval is reached when Congress is able to pass all of the appropriate spending bills regarding the federal budget. Government shutdowns result in a halt of work and any other federally run operations. .
The key players in the government shutdown were former Democratic President Bill Clinton and former Republican Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. Newt Gingrich has been known as a "skipper " in government shutdowns past. Known as the "godfather of gridlock ", he "believed the only way to pass consistently conservative policies was to win control of the House " (Hirsh and Kushner 1). Bill Clinton, being a Democratic President, did not mean to polarize the country with his political strategies. His goal was to govern the United States as warm-heartedly as he could. He, in fact, made irrational choices, some of which led the country into a federal government shutdown. Leading up to the shutdown, Bill Clinton attempted to manage the spending bills as best and as quickly as he could, but he seemed to fail. .
With the 1995 fiscal year ending on September 30, 1995, Bill Clinton and Congress had yet to pass a budget.