Closed for business? Government shutdown history

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Associated Press

Posted on September 28, 2013 at 8:35 AM

Updated Saturday, Sep 28 at 9:33 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — OK, gridlocked politicians we're used to. But why padlock the Statue of Liberty?

You don't see other democracies shuttering landmarks and sending civil servants home just because their political parties can't get along. Belgian civil servants, for example, carried on nicely for a year and a half while their politicians bickered over forming a new government.

The potential for a partial shutdown Tuesday is a quirk of American history. So if you're bored with blaming House Republicans or President Barack Obama, you can lay some responsibility on the Founding Fathers.

Or blame President Jimmy Carter's rectitude.

Or ex-House Speaker Newt Gingrich's hissy fit over how he got off Air Force One.

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