Federal Relations

July 23, 2015

House Looking at a Continuing Resolution

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) today said that Congress will need a continuing resolution before the end of the FY2015, which is September 30th.

There are three types of federal appropriations measures. Regular appropriations bills provide most of the funding that is provided in all appropriations measures for a fiscal year and must be enacted by October 1, the beginning of the fiscal year. These are the 12 regular appropriations bills which have been passing the House and Senate up until earlier this month.  If regular bills are not enacted by the beginning of the new fiscal year, Congress adopts continuing resolutions (CR) to continue funding, generally until regular bills are enacted. Supplemental appropriations bills provide additional appropriations to become available during a fiscal year.

The House has been largely stalled in moving appropriations bills forward since the FY2015 Interior Appropriations bill issues with the Confederate flag. It has largely been speculated that Congress will move towards a CR, which is a very commonly used funding device, and then begin working on a larger omnibus appropriations bill — a bill that combines many of the appropriations bills into one package. Omnibus appropriations bills are typically moved as straight up or down votes, at or near to the Christmas holidays.

While Boehner gave no indication as to how long a CR would be crafted or what it would look like, his mention is the first admission by senior Congressional leadership that a CR will happen.