Books About What Happens If the Government Shuts Down

By Jason Boog Comment

Congress and the Barack Obama administration failed to reach a compromise during an important meeting last night, and the possibility of government shutdown looms. Don’t rely on the #ifgovernmentshutsdown hashtag for information–we’ve assembled a small library of books about federal government shutdown.

The best free resource is Effects of Potential Government Shutdown, a report from a 1995 Congressional hearing about shutdowns now stored at the Internet Archive.

If you are looking for a narrative account of the 1995 and 1996 federal government shutdown, check out The Pact: Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich, and the Rivalry That Defined a Generation by Steven M. Gillon. You can sample the shutdown passages at Google Books.

Storming Media published a Pentagon report by Richard T. Trowbridge about the 1996 government shutdown entitled The Effect of Government Shutdown on Government Contracts.

Here’s more about the book: “President Clinton, referring to the curtailed government services resulting from the shutdowns, called the shutdowns an ‘unnatural disaster’ which created a significant back-log of work. In fact, letters and packages for 13 closed federal agencies were stored in tractor trailers, to be delivered the first day after the shutdown ended. Personnel and payroll offices spent thousands of hours resolving furlough-related problems, while newspapers reported that the General Accounting Office could easily wind up dealing with furlough related matters into the next century.”