Defense Spending Under an Interim Continuing Resolution: In Brief [February 23, 2018] [open pdf - 868KB]
From the Document: "Congress uses an annual appropriations process to fund the routine activities of most federal agencies. This process anticipates the enactment of 12 'regular appropriations bills' to fund these activities before the beginning of the fiscal year. When this process is delayed beyond the start of the fiscal year, one or more continuing appropriations acts (commonly known as continuing resolutions or CRs) can be used to provide funding until action on regular appropriations is completed. An interim continuing resolution (CR) typically provides that budget authority is available at a certain rate of operations or funding rate for the covered projects and activities, and for a specified period of time. The funding rate for a project or activity is based on the total amount of budget authority that would be available annually at the 'referenced funding level', and is prorated based on the fraction of a year for which the interim CR is in effect."
CRS Report for Congress, R44636