Whether it is 1995 or 2011, there are a few basic rules to remember when the country is facing a government shutdown.
The first rule is to strike a serious tone. In 1995, then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich angrily held up a golf club in one hand and President Clinton's statement in the other.
"This is the president's two-page press conference before going off to play golf," Gingrich said.
In both 1995 and 2011, representatives were adament about how "serious" the situation in Washington is.
"The president himself, playing golf. That's not how you're serious, " said Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., during the current standoff. "We need to be serious."
Rule two: set a common goal. In both instances, Democrats and Republicans made it clear that shutting down the government was not the objective of the budget debates. Both parties also want to "cut spending" and "get our fiscal house in order," both in 1995 and in 2011.
The third rule is to claim to set aside the usual tactics. Representatives from both sides of the aisle in both 1995 and 2011 vowed to change the status quo and insisted that they were not trying to "score political points."
Rule four is to always do it for the children. In 1995, President Clinton said in a press conference that "we must lift the burden of debt that threatens the future of our children and grandchildren." In 2011, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., said that "we owe it to our constituents, to our children and grandchildren" to lessen the national debt.
The fifth rule is to have lots of meetings. In 1995 and in 2011 both parties met several times to hammer out a deal, but unfortunately they couldn't see eye to eye.
When all else fails, follow the final rule. Point fingers at the other side. Democrats and Republicans routinely blamed the other side in both instances of a potential shutdown.