Faced with the start of a new fiscal year on Oct. 1, Congress passed a continuing resolution (CR) in September that kept the government open until Dec. 9. Now, that august body will pass another CR that will keep the lights on until March 31.
By then, a new Congress will have convened (albeit with most of the same members) and a new president, Donald Trump, will be in office. Fiscal year 2017 will be half over, and everyone involved will be grappling with passing a budget for fiscal year 2018.
CRs make life difficult for government agencies, keeping funding at the same levels as the previous fiscal year and making it hard to start new programs and initiatives.
“We must continue to keep our federal agencies and programs open for business, while looking towards future progress on these vital Appropriations bills,” said House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers (R-KY) in a press release. “While I’m disappointed that the Congress is not going to be able to complete our annual funding work this year, I am extremely hopeful that the new Congress and the new Administration will finish these bills. I am also hopeful for a renewed and vigorous ‘regular order’ on future annual funding bills, so that the damaging process of Continuing Resolutions will no longer be necessary.”