Government Operations in the Event of a Lapse in Appropriations: Memorandum Opinion for the Director, Office of Management and Budget [August 16, 1995] [open pdf - 38KB]
"This memorandum responds to your request to the Attorney General for advice regarding the permissible scope of government operations during a lapse in appropriations. The Constitution provides that 'no money shall be drawn from the treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by law.' […] The treasury is further protected through the Antideficiency Act, which among other things prohibits all officers and employees of the federal government from entering into obligations in advance of appropriations and prohibits employing federal personnel except in emergencies, unless otherwise authorized by law. […] With respect to the effects of this amendment, we continue to adhere to the view expressed to General Counsel Robert Damus of the Office of Management and Budget that 'the 1990 amendment to 31 U.S.C. § 1342 does not detract from the Attorney General's earlier analyses; if anything, the amendment clarified that the Antideficiency Act's exception for emergencies is narrow and must be applied only when a threat to life or property is imminent.'"
United States. Department of Justice: http://www.justice.gov/