The House will take up a continuing resolution this week to keep agencies operating at fiscal 2009 levels while Congress completes the 12 annual appropriations bills, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer announced Sept. 17.
The CR will not come up before Wednesday, according to the tentative House floor schedule. A final vote has not been scheduled, so it’s unclear if the CR will be finished this week.
The House has passed all 12 of its fiscal 2010 appropriations bills, while the Senate has passed six. The end of the fiscal year is Sept. 30, and agencies have adapted to the annual pattern of continuing resolutions, also known as CRs.
Congress has not completed its work on all federal appropriations bills before Oct. 1 since 1997. It usually passes one or more continuing resolutions, keeping agencies funded at the previous years’ spending levels, until Congress either completes work on all of the bills or wraps them up into a consolidated spending bill, known as an omnibus.
In 2009, Congress passed on-time appropriations for three agencies: Defense, Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs. All other agencies operated under a CR until March, when Congress passed an omnibus containing new spending levels.