The federal government shutdown, which looks nearly over on its 16th day, clocks in as the third-longest shutdown since the modern budgeting process began in 1976.
The longest shutdown is still the 1995 battle between President Clinton and Republican-controlled Congress, which centered on the GOP's demand for a seven-year plan to balance the budget. That showdown lasted 21 days, carrying through the December holidays into 1996 before it was resolved.
The 2013 clash will fall just short of the 18-day conflict that began Oct. 1, 1978. The shutdown came despite Democrats controlling the White House and both chambers of Congress. President Jimmy Carter started the shutdown by vetoing spending bills from the Capitol he found wasteful. Congress ended up capitulating to the White House.
This year’s is the sixth shutdown to drag on for 10 days or longer. Three of those six took place in back-to-back-to-back autumns under the Carter administration.