Here’s What Happened the Last Time the Government Shut Down

Worries about reaction to potential Obama immigration action revives memories.

ByABC News
November 18, 2014, 1:34 PM

— -- On the brink of President Obama’s expected executive action on immigration, rumors of another potential government shutdown are swirling.

It was just over a year ago when, on Oct. 1, 2013, the government shut down for 16 days after Congress was unable to agree on a budget for the new fiscal year.

In case anyone forgot, here’s a refresher on what happened the last time the government shut down:

It started over Obamacare.Congress failed to come to an agreement on a budget after Republican lawmakers began pushing to defund Obamacare. Not surprisingly, Senate Democrats and the Obama administration rejected the proposals and the resulting impasse led to the partial shutdown that began in early October 2013.

Nearly 800,000 federal employees were out of work without pay.In addition, more than a million other working employees had their paychecks delayed. On day five of the shutdown, Congress voted to give the furloughed government employees retroactive pay. Meanwhile, some members of Congress kept collecting their paychecks, while others voluntarily gave theirs up.

Nonessential departments and employees were furloughed.National parks, the National Zoo and NASA were all closed. The National Park Service lost more than 700,000 daily visitors, who typically add about $76 million to the national economy each day.

Chris Cox took it upon himself to mow the Lincoln Memorial's lawn, Oct. 9, 2013.

One man mowed the lawn outside the national monuments. Chris Cox rose to fame after being spotted mowing the lawn outside the Lincoln Memorial. Cox took over for the U.S. Park Service employees and was seen mowing the lawn and emptying the area's overflowing trash cans. He called the federal government’s neglect of national parks “unacceptable.”

Veterans pushed past barricades of the closed WWII memorial. The World War II memorial was technically closed because of the shutdown, but that didn’t stop 92 Mississippi Gulf Coast Honor Flight Veterans from crossing the barricades and touring the site.

V.A. financial benefits were disrupted.Millions of veterans and their families almost did not receive their benefits. The Veterans Affairs secretary at the time, Eric Shinseki, warned that if the shutdown continued through late October, the agency would not be able to send out compensation checks to 5.1 million veterans.

There was an increase in restaurant beverage (mostly liquor) sales. Beverage sales saw a 3 percent increase during the first week of October compared to the first week of September that year.

#Shutdownbeards became a thing.With extra time on their hands and no meetings to look presentable for, some furloughed federal staffers tweeted out pictures of their beards, refusing to shave until Congress ended the shutdown.

It cost the country $24 billion.According to estimates by the financial services company Standards & Poor’s, the government shutdown cost America a whopping $24 billion, or $1.5 billion a day.

The shutdown finally came to an end.On Oct. 16, the Senate and House voted to fund the government until Jan. 15 and extend the debt limit. Minor changes were made to Obamacare requiring income verification for those receiving health care. President Obama signed the bill shortly after midnight on Oct. 17, ending the shutdown.

"You don't like a particular policy or a particular president? Then argue for your position. Go out there and win an election," Obama said.

One year later, Republicans did.