Continuing Resolutions: Latest Action and Brief Overview of Recent Practices [April 26, 2011] [open pdf - 268KB]
"Most routine operations of federal departments and agencies are funded each year through enactment of 12 regular annual appropriations acts. Since regular bills are annual, expiring at the end of the fiscal year,1 regular appropriations bills for the subsequent fiscal year must be enacted by October 1. Final action on most regular appropriations bills, however, is frequently delayed beyond the start of the fiscal year. When this occurs, the affected departments and agencies are generally funded under temporary continuing appropriations acts until the regular appropriations bills become law. Because continuing appropriations acts are, for the most part, enacted in the form of joint resolutions, such acts are referred to as continuing resolutions (or CRs). This report is divided into two segments. The first section provides the most recent information on the FY2011 continuing resolutions, including the status, funding levels as well as descriptions of selected provisions in each CR. The second segment focuses on the (1) history and recent trends, including the nature, scope, and duration of CRs during the past 35 years; (2) CR types by duration; (3) major substantive legislative provisions included in some CRs; and (4) funding gaps."
CRS Report for Congress, RL30343