Budget Issues: Effects of Budget Uncertainty from Continuing Resolutions on Agency Operations, Statement for the Record by Michelle Sager, Director, Strategic Issues, Statement for the Record to the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, U.S. Senate   [open pdf - 417KB]

From the Government Accountability Office (GAO) Highlights: "Congress annually faces difficult decisions on what to fund among competing priorities and interests with available resources. Continuing resolutions (CRs) can create budget uncertainty, complicating agency operations and causing inefficiencies. In all but 3 of the last 30 years, Congress has passed CRs to provide funding for agencies to continue operating until agreement is reached on final appropriations. GAO [Government Accountability Office] was asked to provide a statement based on findings from its 2009 report on managing under CRs (GAO-09-879). This statement focuses on (1) a history of CRs and the provisions that Congress includes within them and (2) the effects of CRs on agency operations and actions that federal agencies have taken to manage these effects. GAO's 2009 report reviewed six federal agencies within three cabinet-level departments selected based on factors such as the length of time spent managing under CRs and the types of services they provided. These six case study agencies were the Administration for Children and Families and the Food and Drug Administration within the Department of Health and Human Services; Veterans Health Administration and Veterans Benefits Administration within the Department of Veterans Affairs; and Bureau of Prisons and Federal Bureau of Investigation within the Department of Justice. Under CRs that provide funding for the remainder of a fiscal year, agencies obtain certainty about funding. Therefore, CRs that spanned the months remaining in a fiscal year were not the focus of GAO's report. GAO did not make recommendations in the 2009 report."

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