Continuing Resolutions (CRs)

Note:  This website was archived in January of 2019. 

FY 2019 CRs:

  • 2nd CR (through Dec. 21, 2018): The House and Senate passed on 12/6 by unanimous consent, and the President signed on 12/7, HJRes 143, a two-week continuing resolution (CR) extending temporary funding to December 21 for agencies funded by the 7 unfinished appropriations bills — Ag, CJS, HSec, FSGG, Interior, State, and THUD | Text of H.J.Res. 143
    — The resolution also extends the National Flood Insurance Program through December 21, 2018. It also has the effect of extending through December 21, 2018, several additional authorities and programs that were extended in the existing CR, including the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 and the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant. 

What is a CR?

Congress’ annual objective is to complete action on all 12 appropriations bills by October 1 when the new fiscal year begins. However, due to escalating disagreements on fiscal policy, it is rare for Congress to complete action on all 12 bills by October 1. The last time was 1996.  Instead, Congress often passes stop-gap measures, called “continuing resolutions,” to keep agencies operating at a particular level of funding (often the previous year’s funding level, with some adjustments) while they endeavor to complete appropriations action.  Sometimes, multiple CRs are adopted before final agreement on appropriations is reached.  And occasionally, political gridlock prevents adoption of a CR and the federal government shuts down.  Lengthy government shutdowns occurred in 1995 and 2013; a brief shutdown occurred in 2018.

FY 2018 CRs:

  • 5th CR: Feb. 9, 2018: Bipartisan Budget Act include a continuing resolution through March 23 providing time for negotiating FY’18 appropriations consistent with the new caps.  
    • CR also includes provisions relating to the 2020 Decennial Census; the Strategic Petroleum Reserve; the Southeastern Power Administration; juror fees; the Federal Family Education Loan program; the F-35A program; the Department of Transportation credit programs; authorization of the HOPE VI program; Indian Health Service facilities; and requirements for public institutions of higher education operating in severely economically distressed communities.
    • Read the Appropriations Committee CR summary

  • 4th CR: Jan. 22, 2018:  The Senate voted 81-18 to pass a stopgap funding measure (as an amendment to HR 195) to keep the government funded through February 8, 2018.  The House passed the measure by a largely party line vote of 266-150.  Following is the bill text, explanation, and cost :  Bill Text • Section-by-Section Summary • CBO cost estimate (although bear in mind that the expiration date has changed to February 8, 2018) The stopgap funding measure:
    • Continues funding for federal programs and agencies through Feb. 8;
    • Reauthorizes for 6 years the expired Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) — a jointly financed Federal-State program that covers 9 million low-income children from families that have annual incomes above Medicaid eligibility levels but lack health insurance; and
    • Delays several Affordable Care Act taxes at a cost of $30 billion (suspends for 2018 and 2019 the 2.3% medical device excise tax for another two years, delays to 2022 the so-called “Cadillac tax” on high-cost employer-sponsored health plans for two years, and suspends for 2019 an annual excise tax on health insurers).

  • 3rd CR: Dec. 21, 2017:  House and Senate passed (and the President signed on Dec. 22) a third stop-gap continuing resolution (HR 1370) to keep the government funded through January 19, 2018. The current stopgap CR:
  • 2d CR: Dec. 8, 2017  HJRes 123 (thru 12/22/17)
    • continues funding for all departments and agencies at FY 2017 levels

  • 1st CR: Sept. 8, 2017:  HR 601 (thru 12/08/17)


Continuing Resolutions by Fiscal Year:

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