Nov. 14, 1995: When the US government shut down

The government shut down in 1995.
3:00 | 12/05/17

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Transcript for Nov. 14, 1995: When the US government shut down
Political deadlock in Washington and the consequences elsewhere in the country which very much include a large measure of discussed. For the politicians of both parties millions of Americans have had their lives disrupted today because thousands of government workers are off the job. And there is very little indication this evening that the White House and the Republicans in congress. Are going to resolve their differences about how and when to balance the federal budget first the beyond the beltway. Here's ABC's John Martin. Washington's bureaucratic army drove bumper to bumper to work this morning. The vanguard of two point one million federal workers nationwide. A morning meeting but it was felt. Within hours all around the country 800000 of them would be heading home. Deputies clerks managers secretaries. At the Labor Department word of the shut down what I thought Kennedy got a lot of. And at housing and urban development. This is not like closing down for the night just clearing your desk or even for a weekend because we don't know how long this will last. At the Government Printing Office the announcement broke the nervous tension. It's. Furlough program no part in their little positive thing you'll well who was blown. Please go home and home they went away with it within hours they feel it's crazy. Just cease completely disorganized. And relentless federal tourist sites were closing down across the country in Philadelphia the liberty bell in Atlanta the Martin Luther King home. In Springfield Illinois Abraham Lincoln's home. In San Diego to historic come brio national monument. In new York at the statue of liberty. Bad not good enough to get everybody. We now running at all something to make people don't have an Arab country. Nationwide many federal workers who deal with claims and applications by the public we're also going home in Chicago from the Social Security Office. That prompted the public to make telephone calls like this. I'm concerned about high widow's pension. My husband was killed in World War II was the daisy. Pensioners like the caller and Medicare Medicaid and Social Security recipients are still receiving checks. The agriculture and energy departments are still spending money because congress has funded their operations. Even so the people who operate the national debt clock in New York stopped it as a symbol of what has happened in many areas the federal government is at a standstill. John Martin ABC news Washington. As we said there's a fair measure discussed for politicians of all parties but as of last night the public appeared to be more sympathetic to mr. Clinton's position. When our polling unit asked if the government shuts down who would be at fault 46% blame the Republicans 27%. Mister Clinton that was yesterday. The political struggle to resolve it all today from ABC's Brit Hume. And late today on the senate floor Democrats tried to bring up measures to fund the government would no other provision house Republicans objected leaving matters just as they've been all day. Earlier in the day Republicans talked of passing a new short term spending measure that would reopen the government would no Medicare premium increase. But which would commit both sides to a balanced budget in seven years. Sensing that Republicans might be trying to make him appear opposed to a balanced budget the president this afternoon read a tough statement saying he favors a balanced budget but not like there's. We can balance the budget without doing what they seek to do. We can balance the budget without the deep cuts in education. Without the deep cuts in the environment. Without letting Medicare wither on the vine. Without imposing tax increases on the hardest pressed working families in America. Republican leaders were furious accusing the president of misrepresenting both his plan and there's especially on Medicare. And it's very hard to understand how you can have an honest dialogue. Was somebody who refuses to ought to admit that we increase Medicare spending. He would just increase it more. Mr. President you make things very difficult. With the speech you made today. Half truths misstatements. Statements that your making it that are absolutely your version. But don't happen to be the version of other experts including the Congressional Budget Office. This evening senior administration officials came out of a Capitol Hill meeting with house and senate budget chairman. And said each side had rejected the other's proposals to break the deadlock and that no progress had been made. For months top administration officials have been telling reporters privately that when the crunch came on all these budget issues. The president would stand firm even if that meant closing down the government. Well here we are. And it appears tonight we could be here for a while longer. Brit Hume ABC news the White House.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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