(WASHINGTON) -- If the government shuts down at midnight Friday, it would be the 18th time it will have happened -- ever.
Since 1976, the year that the new Congressional budgeting process took effect, there have been 17 government shutdowns. In official terms, they are actually called “spending gaps.”
According to a Congressional Research Service report issued in 2010, during the 34-year period from fiscal year 1977 to 2010, the 17 shutdowns have ranged in "duration from one day to 21 full days."
"About half of these funding gaps were brief (i.e., three days or less in duration)," according to the report. "Of these, most occurred over a weekend and the disruption in federal operations was minimal.”
Between 1977 and 1992, 15 shutdowns -- or “funding gaps” -- occurred, compared to just two between 1993 and 2010. Those, of course, were the 1995/1996 standoffs between President Clinton and Congressional Republicans.
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