The federal government’s partial shutdown this week grew from the same political brinkmanship as the last one — a two-parter spanning nearly four weeks in 1995 and 1996. But political experts say this one features far more polarized sides and a real threat to a weaker economy from a looming debt limit battle that did not bedevil the mid-1990s Congress.
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Local impact of the 1995-1996 shutdowns
At Wright-Patterson Air Force Base about 10,000 of its 13,000 civilian workers were furloughed during the November 1995 shutdown. Defense appropriations approved prior to the December-January shutdown meant no furloughs were necessary during the second shutdown of that fiscal year.
The Air Force Museum and Wright Cycle Co. — part of the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park — closed.
About 20 of 1,700 workers at the former Gentile Air Force Station in Kettering were furloughed.
Social Security and veterans benefits checks were mailed on schedule but new applications were not processed.
About 150 workers at the Dayton Veterans Affairs Medical Center were furloughed and others worked without pay. Employees were given letters explaining their situations if they wanted to seek relief from creditors.
Source: Dayton Daily News archives
Jar your memory by reading about five big things that happened during the government shutdown of 1995-96 at MyDaytonDailyNews.com.
Tom Robinson was furloughed in November 1995 from his job as a logistics management specialist at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Now executive assistant for the American Federation of Government Employees Council 214 at the base, Robinson is again on furlough. He kept a diary and recalls that 1995 government shutdown:
“It was shocking and weird. No one had ever really seen anything like it and didn’t believe they would do that.”