Duration of Continuing Resolutions in Recent Years Jessica Tollestrup Analyst on Congress and the Legislative Process August 25, 2010 Congressional Research Service 7-5700 www.crs.gov RL32614 CRS Report for Congress Prepared for Members and Committees of Congress Duration of Continuing Resolutions in Recent Years Summary Continuing appropriations acts, commonly known as continuing resolutions, have been an integral component of the annual appropriations process for decades. Whenever action on one or more of the regular appropriations acts for a fiscal year is incomplete as the end of a congressional session nears, one issue that arises is the appropriate duration of any period for which continuing resolutions will be used. Continuing resolutions may have a relatively short duration in the expectation that action on the regular appropriations acts will be concluded within several days or weeks. Alternatively, continuing resolutions may have a longer duration to postpone final action on appropriations decisions until after elections or into the beginning of the next congressional session. Finally, a continuing resolution may provide funding for the remainder of the fiscal year. The duration of a continuing resolution refers to the period for which continuing appropriations are made available for the use of agencies. (Legislative provisions, as opposed to funding provisions, contained in a continuing resolution may remain in effect for a longer period, even as permanent law.) The period ends either upon enactment of the applicable regular appropriations act or on an expiration date specified in the continuing resolution, whichever occurs first. Over the past half century, the timing patterns for congressional action on regular appropriations acts have varied considerably, but tardy enactment has been a recurring problem. During the 59year period covering FY1952-FY2010, all of the regular appropriations acts were enacted on time in only four instances (FY1977, FY1989, FY1995, and FY1997). No continuing resolutions were enacted for three of these fiscal years, but continuing resolutions were enacted for FY1977 to fund certain unauthorized programs whose funding had been dropped from the regular appropriations acts. Further, no continuing resolutions were enacted for FY1953 even though all but one of the regular appropriations were enacted late. Full-year continuing resolutions provide funding for one or more of the regular appropriations acts for the remainder of the fiscal year. While Congress has employed full-year continuing resolutions on many occasions, it has not done so consistently over time. For each of the 11 fiscal years covering FY1978-FY1988, Congress enacted a full-year continuing resolution. Three years later, Congress enacted another full-year continuing resolution, for FY1992. Most recently, a fullyear continuing resolution was enacted for FY2007. During the past 13 fiscal years (FY1998-FY2010), Congress provided funding under continuing resolutions for an average each year of nearly four months (111.5 days). The period for which continuing appropriations were provided in these 13 years ranged from 21 days to 365 days. On average, each of the 79 continuing resolutions enacted during this period lasted for about 18 days. This report will be updated as developments warrant. Congressional Research Service Duration of Continuing Resolutions in Recent Years Contents Features of Continuing Resolutions ............................................................................................. 1 Persistent Need for Continuing Resolutions.................................................................................3 Use of Full-Year Continuing Resolutions.....................................................................................3 Recent Congressional Practices (FY1998-FY2010) .....................................................................6 Figures Figure 1. Duration of Continuing Resolutions: FY1998-FY2010 .................................................9 Tables Table 1. Full-Year Continuing Resolutions: FY1977-FY2010 ......................................................5 Table 2. Number and Duration of Continuing Resolutions: FY1998-FY2010...............................6 Table 3. Number, Length, and Duration of Continuing Resolutions: FY1977-FY2010 ............... 10 Contacts Author Contact Information ...................................................................................................... 18 Acknowledgments .................................................................................................................... 18 Congressional Research Service Duration of Continuing Resolutions in Recent Years C ontinuing appropriations acts, commonly known as continuing resolutions, have been an integral component of the annual appropriations process for decades. Whenever action on the regular appropriations acts for a fiscal year is incomplete as the end of a congressional session nears, one issue that arises is the most appropriate duration of any period for which continuing resolutions will be used. Continuing resolutions may have a relatively short duration in the expectation that action on the regular appropriations acts will be concluded within several days or weeks. Alternatively, continuing resolutions may have a longer duration to postpone final action on appropriations decisions until after elections or into the beginning of the next congressional session. Finally, a continuing resolution may provide funding for the remainder of the fiscal year. This report provides information on congressional practices with respect to the duration of continuing resolutions, including the use of full-year measures, and focuses particularly on the period covering FY1998-FY2010. Features of Continuing Resolutions The routine activities of most federal agencies are funded by means of annual appropriations provided in one or more of the regular appropriations acts.1 When action on the regular appropriations acts is delayed, Congress turns to one or more continuing appropriations acts to provide stop-gap funding. 2 In the absence of regular appropriations, the failure to enact continuing appropriations in a timely manner results in a funding gap.3 Funding gaps usually require that affected federal agencies shut down and furlough many of their employees. 4 Continuing appropriations acts commonly are referred to as continuing resolutions (or CRs) because usually they provide continuing appropriations in the form of a joint resolution rather than a bill. Occasionally, however, continuing appropriations are provided in bill form. In most of the years in which continuing resolutions have been used, a series of two or more have been enacted into law. Continuing resolutions may be designated by their order (e.g., first continuing resolution, second continuing resolution, and so on) or, after the initial continuing resolution has been enacted, designated merely as a further continuing resolution. The duration of a continuing resolution refers to the period for which continuing appropriations are made available for the use of agencies. (Legislative provisions, as opposed to funding provisions, contained in a continuing resolution may remain in effect for a longer period, even as permanent law.) The period ends either upon enactment of the applicable regular appropriations 1 The number of regular appropriations acts varied between 11 and 14 during the past half century, but was fixed at 13 for the period covering FY1968-FY2005. Realignment of the House and Senate Appropriations subcommittees at the beginning of the 109th Congress reduced the number of regular appropriations acts, beginning with FY2006, to 11; further realignment at the beginning of the 110th Congress changed the number to 12, beginning with FY2008. 2 For general information, see CRS Report RL30343, Continuing Resolutions: Latest Action and Brief Overview of Recent Practices, by Sandy Streeter. 3 Additional information on this topic is provided in CRS Report RS20348, Federal Funding Gaps: A Brief Overview, by Robert Keith. 4 Exceptions are made under law so that activities for certain authorized purposes, such as protecting property and the safety of human life, may continue during a funding gap. Congressional Research Service 1 Duration of Continuing Resolutions in Recent Years act or on an expiration date specified in the continuing resolution, whichever occurs first. The duration of a continuing resolution may vary for different agencies covered thereunder as an agency’s regular appropriations act is enacted and its coverage under the continuing resolution ceases. In addition, a continuing resolution may contain an expiration date for one or more agencies or programs that differs from the one that applies generally to the covered agencies and programs. For example, Section 107 of P.L. 108-84 (117 Stat. 1043), the first continuing resolution for FY2004 (which began on October 1, 2003), set the duration of the measure at 31 days: Sec. 107. Unless otherwise provided for in this joint resolution or in the applicable appropriations Act, appropriations and funds made available and authority granted pursuant to this joint resolution shall be available until (a) enactment into law of an appropriation for any project or activity provided for in this joint resolution, or (b) the enactment into law of the applicable appropriations Act by both Houses without any provision for such project or activity, or (c) October 31, 2003, whichever first occurs. Oftentimes, subsequent continuing resolutions simply will replace the expiration date in the preceding continuing resolution with a new one. For example, Section 1 of the second continuing resolution for FY2004, P.L. 108-104 (117 Stat. 1200), stated that “Public Law 108-84 is amended by striking the date specified in Section 107(c) and inserting ‘November 7, 2003’.” This action extended the duration of the preceding continuing resolution by seven days. Based upon their duration, continuing resolutions may be classified as either partial-year or fullyear measures. Partial-year continuing resolutions provide funding for periods usually measured in days or weeks (but sometimes months), while full-year continuing resolutions provide funding through September 30 of the next congressional session, the last day of the fiscal year. By enacting a series of partial-year continuing resolutions, Congress secures increments of time for itself to complete action on some or all of the remaining regular appropriations acts before ending the congressional session. The duration of the continuing resolutions may be shortened, sometimes to a single day, to keep pressure on legislators to conclude their business, or may be lengthened to weeks to accommodate lengthy negotiations or congressional recesses. In some cases, continuing resolutions have carried over into the next session when Congress wanted to postpone making difficult political or policy decisions. Finally, when it does not seem likely that one or more of the regular appropriations acts for a fiscal year will be enacted separately, a fullyear continuing resolution may be used to complete legislative action. Continuing resolutions usually fund activities under a formula-type approach that provides spending at a restricted level, such as “at a rate for operations not exceeding the current rate” (i.e., generally equivalent to the total amount of appropriations provided for the prior fiscal year). The amount of funding available for particular activities is often increased when the regular appropriations act subsequently is enacted. Congress is not bound by these conventions in determining funding levels, however, and there have been several variations in practice in continuing resolutions over the years. In addition, continuing resolutions generally do not allow new activities to be initiated. Instead, funding usually is available only for activities conducted during the past year, and existing conditions and limitations on program activity are retained via language contained within the resolution’s text. Congressional Research Service 2 Duration of Continuing Resolutions in Recent Years Persistent Need for Continuing Resolutions Over the past half century, the timing patterns for congressional action on regular appropriations acts have varied considerably, but tardy enactment has been a recurring problem. During the 59year period covering FY1952-FY2010, all of the regular appropriations acts were enacted on time in only four instances (FY1977, FY1989, FY1995, and FY1997). No continuing resolutions were enacted for three of these fiscal years, but continuing resolutions were enacted for FY1977 to fund certain unauthorized programs whose funding had been dropped from the regular appropriations acts. Further, no continuing resolutions were enacted for FY1953 even though all but one of the regular appropriations were enacted late. 5 In an effort to reduce the reliance on continuing resolutions, the Congressional Budget Act of 1974 lengthened the time available for Congress to act on annual appropriations measures by moving the start of the fiscal year back three months, from July 1 to October 1.6 Procedures under the act first were implemented fully for FY1977. During the preceding 25 fiscal years, covering FY1952-FY1976, Congress did not once enact all of the regular appropriations acts on time. As a result, one or more continuing resolutions were enacted each year during this period, except for FY1953.7 The change made by the 1974 act in the start of the fiscal year yielded immediate results—all of the regular appropriations acts for FY1977 were enacted on time. (Despite this achievement, two continuing resolutions were enacted to fund certain unauthorized programs that had been excluded from the regular appropriations acts.) The initial success was short-lived, and congressional reliance on continuing resolutions has persisted in the ensuing years. After FY1977, all of the regular appropriations acts were enacted on time in only three other instances—for FY1989, FY1995, and FY1997. Consequently, one or more continuing resolutions were needed each year during this period, except for these three fiscal years (see Table 3, at the end of the report). In most years, more than one continuing resolution was needed as Congress worked to complete action on the regular appropriations acts. In total, 148 continuing resolutions were enacted into law during the period covering FY1977-FY2010, ranging from zero to 21 annually. On average, about four continuing resolutions were enacted each year during this interval. Use of Full-Year Continuing Resolutions Full-year continuing resolutions provide funding for one or more of the regular appropriations acts for the remainder of the fiscal year (i.e., through June 30 for FY1976 and prior years, and 5 Section 1414 of P.L. 82-547 (66 Stat. 661) made regular appropriations enacted late available as of July 1, 1952 (the first day of FY1953) and ratified any obligations incurred before their enactment. 6 Section 501 (88 Stat. 321) of P.L. 93-344; July 12, 1974. This section later was replaced by the Federal Credit Reform Act of 1990, but the start of the fiscal year remains October 1 (see 31 U.S.C. 1102). 7 Although regular appropriations measures for FY1953 were enacted into law after the start of the fiscal year on July 1, 1952, no continuing appropriations were provided. Section 1414 of P.L. 82-547 (July 15, 1952), a supplemental appropriations measure for FY1953, resolved the legalities arising from the tardy enactment of appropriations for that year. Congressional Research Service 3 Duration of Continuing Resolutions in Recent Years through September 30 for FY1977 and subsequent years). They represent a determination by Congress to abandon any further efforts to enact separately any unfinished regular appropriations acts for the fiscal year, and to bring the annual appropriations process for that year to a close (except for the later consideration of supplemental appropriations acts). While Congress has employed full-year continuing resolutions on many occasions, it has not done so consistently over time. Prior to the full implementation of the 1974 Congressional Budget Act for FY1977, full-year continuing resolutions were used periodically. Full-year continuing resolutions, for example, were enacted into law for four of the six preceding fiscal years (FY1971, FY1973, FY1975, and FY1976).8 Following the successful completion of action on the regular appropriations acts for FY1977, Congress returned to the use of full-year continuing resolutions for more than a decade. For each of the 11 fiscal years following FY1977, covering FY1978-FY1988, Congress enacted a full-year continuing resolution. Three years later, Congress enacted another full-year continuing resolution, for FY1992. Most recently, a full-year continuing resolution was enacted for FY2007. Full-year continuing resolutions may provide appropriations in different ways, including (1) by formulaic provisions (e.g., “at a rate for operations not in excess of the current rate or the rate provided in the budget estimate, whichever is lower”), in which the amounts available for individual projects and activities must be determined by comparing two or more alternatives; (2) by incorporating the full text of the applicable regular appropriations acts (including incorporation by cross-reference to other measures), thereby obviating the need to make any funding determinations; or (3) by a combination of the two. From a functional perspective, full-year continuing resolutions that do not include any formulaic provisions, but instead provide appropriations using the full text of acts (including by crossreference), may be regarded by some as omnibus appropriations acts rather than continuing resolutions, even if they are entitled an act “making continuing appropriations” or “making further continuing appropriations.” Table 1 identifies the 13 full-year continuing resolutions enacted for the period covering FY1977FY2010. Seven of the measures included at least one formulaic funding provision, while the remaining six did not. Nine of the 13 full-year continuing resolutions during this period were enacted in the first quarter of the fiscal year—three in October, two in November, and four in December. The four remaining measures, however, were enacted during the following session, between February 15 and June 5. As Table 1 shows, full-year continuing resolutions enacted during the first five years of this period were relatively short measures, ranging in length from one to four pages in the Statutes-atLarge. Beginning with FY1983 and extending through FY1988, however, the measures became much lengthier, ranging in length from 19 to 451 pages (averaging 244 pages). The greater page length of full-year continuing resolutions enacted for the period covering FY1983-FY1988 may be explained by two factors. First, full-year continuing resolutions enacted 8 The full-year continuing resolution for FY1976, P.L. 94-254, provided funding through the end of the fiscal year (June 30, 1976) as well as through the end of a “transition quarter” (September 30, 1976) made necessary by the change in the start of the fiscal year from July 1 to October 1. Congressional Research Service 4 Duration of Continuing Resolutions in Recent Years prior to FY1983 generally established funding levels by a formulaic reference to pending regular appropriations acts. With regard to a specific appropriations act, for example, funding levels may have been keyed to the lesser of the amounts provided in the House-passed or Senate-passed versions of the act. Beginning with FY1983, however, Congress largely abandoned the use of formulaic references to establish funding levels. Instead, the full text of some or all of the covered regular appropriations acts usually was incorporated into the full-year continuing resolution, thereby increasing its length considerably. Secondly, the number of regular appropriations acts covered by full-year continuing resolutions increased significantly during the FY1983-FY1988 period. For the period covering FY1978FY1982, the number of regular appropriations acts covered by continuing resolutions for the full fiscal year ranged from one to eight (averaging four). Beginning with FY1983 and extending through FY1988, the number of covered acts ranged from five to 13 (averaging 9.25). Table 1. Full-Year Continuing Resolutions: FY1977-FY2010 Fiscal Year Public Law Number Enactment Date Page Length (Statutesat-Large) Included Formulaic Funding Provision(s)? Number of Appropriations Acts Covered 1977 [none] — — — — 1978 P.L. 95-205 12-09-1977 2 No 2 1979 P.L. 95-482 10-18-1978 4 No 1 1980 P.L. 96-123 11-20-1979 4 Yes 5 1981 P.L. 97-12 06-05-1981 2a Yes 8a 1982 P.L. 97-161 03-31-1982 1 Yes 4b 1983 P.L. 97-377 12-21-1982 95 Yes 7 1984 P.L. 98-151 11-14-1983 19 Yes 5 1985 P.L. 98-473 10-12-1984 363 No 9 1986 P.L. 99-190 12-19-1985 142 No 8 1987 P.L. 99-591 10-30-1986 391 No 13 1988 P.L. 100-202 12-22-1987 451 No 13 1989 [none] — — — — 1990 [none] — — — — 1991 [none] — — — — 1992 P.L. 102-266 04-01-1992 8 Yes 10c 1993-2006 [none] — — — — 2007 P.L. 110-5 02-15-2007 53 Yes 9d 2008 [none] — — — — 2009 [none] — — — — 2010 [none] — — — — Source: Prepared by the Congressional Research Service. Congressional Research Service 5 Duration of Continuing Resolutions in Recent Years a. This full year continuing resolution was contained within the FY 1981 Supplemental Appropriations and Rescissions Act 1981 (H.R. 3512, see Title IV, “Further Continuing Appropriations”). Title IV extends through the end of the fiscal year the expiration of P.L. 95-536, which included appropriations for the Legislative Branch; Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies; Agriculture, Rural Development and Related Agencies; District of Columbia; Department of Housing and Urban Development-Independent Agencies; Department of Interior and Related Agencies; Departments of State, Justice, and Commerce, the Judiciary, and Related Agencies; Department of Defense. b. This full year continuing resolution extended through the end of the fiscal year the expiration date of P.L. 97-92, which included appropriations for Treasury, Postal Service and General Government; Department of Transportation and Related Agencies; Department of Housing and Urban Development Independent Agencies; Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary. c. This full year continuing resolution extended through the end of FY1992 the expiration date of P.L. 102163, which included appropriations for Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies; Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary; Department of Defense; Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs; Department of the Interior and Related Agencies; Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies; Military Construction; Department of Transportation and Related Agencies; Treasury, Postal Service, and General Government; Departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development, and Independent Agencies. d. During the 109th Congress, the House and Senate appropriations subcommittee jurisdictions were not entirely parallel. As a result, the forms in which the initial pieces of appropriations legislation were considered differed between the chambers. Ultimately, spending authority provided in the full-year continuing resolution was designated in Section 101 as nine appropriations Acts as follows: Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies; Energy and Water Development; Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs; Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies; Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies; Legislative Branch; Military Quality of Life and Veterans Affairs; Science, State, Justice, Commerce, and Related Agencies; Transportation, Treasury, Housing and Urban Development, Judiciary, District of Columbia, and Independent Agencies. Recent Congressional Practices (FY1998-FY2010) Continuing resolutions have been an important element of the annual appropriations process during the last 13 fiscal years, covering FY1998-FY2010. (FY1997 was the most recent year for which no continuing resolutions were needed.) As shown in Table 2, a total of 79 continuing resolutions were enacted into law during the period. While the average number of such measures enacted per year was about six (6.1), the actual number enacted ranged from two measures (for FY2009 and FY2010) to 21 (for FY2001). Table 2. Number and Duration of Continuing Resolutions: FY1998-FY2010 Fiscal Year Number of Continuing Resolutions Duration in Daysa Average Duration for Each Act Final Expiration Date 1998 6 57 9.5 11-26-1997 1999 6 21 3.5 10-21-1998 2000 7 63 9.0 12-02-1999 2001 21 82 3.9 12-21-2000 2002 8 102 12.8 01-10-2002 2003 8 143 17.9 02-20-2003 Congressional Research Service 6 Duration of Continuing Resolutions in Recent Years Fiscal Year Number of Continuing Resolutions Duration in Daysa Average Duration for Each Act Final Expiration Date 2004 5b 123 24.6 01-31-2004 2005 3 69 23.0 12-08-2004 2006 3 92 30.7 12-31-2005 2007 4 365 91.3 09-30-2007 2008 4 92 23.0 12-31-2007 2009 2 162 81.0 03-11-2009 2010 2 79 39.5 12-18-2009 Total 79 1,450 — — Annual Average 6.1 111.5 18.4 — Source: Prepared by the Congressional Research Service. a. Duration is measured, in the case of the initial continuing resolution for a fiscal year, from the first day of the year (October 1). For subsequent continuing resolutions for a fiscal year, duration is measured from the expiration date of the preceding continuing resolution. b. The fifth continuing resolution for FY2004 did not change the expiration date of January 31, 2004, established in the preceding continuing resolution. During these last 13 years, Congress provided funding by such means for an average each year of nearly four months (111.5 days). Taking into account all of the continuing resolutions enacted for each year, the period for which continuing appropriations were provided ranged from 21 days to 365 days. On average, each of the 79 continuing resolutions enacted lasted for about 18 (18.4) days.9 One full-year continuing resolution was used during this period, covering FY2007. In the first four instances (FY1998-FY2001), the expiration date in the final continuing resolution was set in the first quarter of the fiscal year, on a date occurring between October 21 and December 21. The expiration date in the final continuing resolution for the next three fiscal years (FY2002-FY2004), however, was set in the following session on a date occurring between January 10 and February 20. The expiration dates in the final continuing resolutions for three of the next four fiscal years (FY2005, FY2006, and FY2008) were in the first quarter of the fiscal year on a date occurring between December 8 and December 31. The final continuing resolution for FY2007 provided funding through the remainder of the fiscal year, with an expiration date of September 30, 2007. Finally, the first continuing resolution for FY2009 carried an expiration date of March 6, 2009, which was extended for another five days by a second continuing resolution. Continuing appropriations for FY2010 were provided through December 18, 2009. Figure 1 presents a representation of both the number and duration of continuing resolutions for FY1998-FY2010. As the figure shows, there is no significant correlation between these two variables. 9 The fifth continuing resolution enacted for FY2004, P.L. 108-185, did not change the expiration date of January 31, 2004, set in the preceding continuing resolution. Congressional Research Service 7 Duration of Continuing Resolutions in Recent Years Six continuing resolutions were enacted for both FY1998 and FY1999, but the same number of measures lasted for a period of 57 days for FY1998 and only 21 days for FY1999. The largest number of continuing resolutions enacted for a single fiscal year during this period—21 for FY2001—covered a period lasting 82 days, at an average duration of 3.9 days per act. The smallest number enacted—two each for FY2009 and FY2010—covered 162 days and 79 days, respectively, at an average duration of 81 days and 40 days per act. Figure 1 also shows considerable mix in the use of shorter-term and longer-term continuing resolutions for a single fiscal year. For FY2001, for example, 21 continuing resolutions covered the first 82 days of the fiscal year. The first 25 days were covered by a series of four continuing resolutions lasting between five and eight days each. The next 10 days, a period of intense legislative negotiations leading up to the national elections on November 7, 2000, were covered by a series of 10 one-day continuing resolutions. The next 31 days were covered by only two continuing resolutions, the first lasting 10 days and the second lasting 21 days. The first of these two continuing resolutions was enacted into law on November 4, the Saturday before the election, and extended through November 14, the second day of a lame-duck session. The second continuing resolution was enacted into law on November 15; it expired on December 5, 10 days before the lame-duck session ended. The remaining five continuing resolutions, which ranged in duration from one to six days, covered the remainder of the lame-duck session and several days beyond (as the final appropriations legislation passed by Congress was processed for the President’s approval). Table 3 provides more detailed information on the number, length, and duration of continuing appropriations acts enacted for FY1977-FY2010. As indicated previously, this represents the period during which the congressional budget process established by the 1974 Congressional Budget Act has been in effect, including the change in the start of the fiscal year from July 1 to October 1. Congressional Research Service 8 Figure 1. Duration of Continuing Resolutions: FY1998-FY2010 1998 57 21 2000 63 Fiscal Year 82 2002 102 143 2004 123 69 2006 92 365 2008 92 162 2010 79 0 100 200 300 400 Number of Days Note: Each segment of a bar for a fiscal year represents the duration of one continuing resolution. The left-most segment represents the first continuing resolution, effective beginning on October 1 (the start of the fiscal year). Duration is measured, in the case of the initial continuing resolution for a fiscal year, from the first day of the year through the expiration date. For subsequent continuing resolutions for a fiscal year, duration is measured from the expiration date of the preceding continuing resolution. CRS-9 Table 3. Number, Length, and Duration of Continuing Resolutions: FY1977-FY2010 Fiscal Year Number of Acts by Fiscal Year Number of Acts Cumulatively 1977 1 1 P.L. 94-473 90 Stat. 2065-2067 3 10-11-1976 03-31-1977 183 2 2 P.L. 95-16 91 Stat. 28 1 04-01-1977 04-30-1977 30 1 3 P.L. 95-130 91 Stat. 1153-1154 2 10-13-1977 10-31-1977 31 2 4 P.L. 95-165 91 Stat. 1323-1324 2 11-09-1977 11-30-1977 30 3 5 P.L. 95-205 91 Stat. 1460-1461 2 12-09-1977 09-30-1978 304 1979 1 6 P.L. 95-482 92 Stat. 1603-1605 3 10-18-1978 09-30-1979 365 1980 1 7 P.L. 96-86 93 Stat. 656-663 8 10-12-1979 11-20-1979 51 2 8 P.L. 96-123 93 Stat. 923-926 4 11-20-1979 09-30-1980 315 1 9 P.L. 96-369 94 Stat. 1351-1359 9 10-01-1980 12-15-1980 76 2 10 P.L. 96-536 94 Stat. 3166-3172 7 12-16-1980 06-05-1981 172 3 11 P.L. 97-12b 95 Stat. 95-96 2 06-05-1981 09-30-1981 117 1 12 P.L. 97-51 95 Stat. 958-968 11 10-01-1981 11-20-1981 51 2 13 P.L. 97-85 95 Stat. 1098 1 11-23-1981 12-15-1981 22 3 14 P.L. 97-92 95 Stat. 1183-1203 21 12-15-1981 03-31-1982 106 4 15 P.L. 97-161 96 Stat. 22 1 03-31-1982 09-30-1982 183 1 16 P.L. 97-276 96 Stat. 1186-1205 20 10-02-1982 12-17-1982 78 2 17 P.L. 97-377 96 Stat. 1830-1924 95c 12-17-1982 09-30-1983 287 1 18 P.L. 98-107 97 Stat. 733-743 11 10-01-1983 11-10-1983 41 2 19 P.L. 98-151 97 Stat. 964-982 19 11-10-1983 09-30-1984 325 1 20 P.L. 98-441 98 Stat. 1699-1701 3 10-03-1984 10-03-1984 3 2 21 P.L. 98-453 98 Stat. 1731 1 10-05-1984 10-05-1984 2 3 22 P.L. 98-455 98 Stat. 1747 1 10-06-1984 10-09-1984 4 4 23 P.L. 98-461 98 Stat. 1814 1 10-10-1984 10-11-1984 2 5 24 P.L. 98-473 98 Stat. 1837-1976 140d 10-12-1984 09-30-1985 354 1978 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 CRS-10 Public Law Number Statutes-at-Large Citation Page Length Enactment Date Expiration Date Duration in Daysa Fiscal Year Number of Acts by Fiscal Year Number of Acts Cumulatively 1986 1 25 P.L. 99-103 99 Stat. 471-473 3 09-30-1985 11-14-1985 45 2 26 P.L. 99-154 99 Stat. 813 1 11-14-1985 12-12-1985 28 3 27 P.L. 99-179 99 Stat. 1135 1 12-13-1985 12-16-1985 4 4 28 P.L. 99-184 99 Stat. 1176 1 12-17-1985 12-19-1985 3 5 29 P.L. 99-190 99 Stat. 1185-1326 142e 12-19-1985 09-30-1986 285 1 30 P.L. 99-434 100 Stat. 1076-1079 4 10-01-1986 10-08-1986 8 2 31 P.L. 99-464 100 Stat. 1185-1188 4 10-09-1986 10-10-1986 2 3 32 P.L. 99-465 100 Stat. 1189 1 10-11-1986 10-15-1986 5 4 33 P.L. 99-491 100 Stat. 1239 1 10-16-1986 10-16-1986 1 34 P.L. 99-500f 386 10-18-1986 09-30-1987 349 99-591f 390 10-30-1986 [n/a]f — 1987 5 Public Law Number Statutes-at-Large Citation 100 Stat. 1783 through 1783-385 100 Stat. 3341 through 3341-389 Page Length Enactment Date Expiration Date Duration in Daysa 6f 35 P.L. 1 36 P.L. 100-120 101 Stat. 789-791 3 09-30-1987 11-10-1987 41 2 37 P.L. 100-162 101 Stat. 903 1 11-10-1987 12-16-1987 36 3 38 P.L. 100-193 101 Stat. 1310 1 12-16-1987 12-18-1987 2 4 39 P.L. 100-197 101 Stat. 1314 1 12-20-1987 12-21-1987 3 5 40 P.L. 100-202 101 Stat. 1329 through 1329-450 451g 12-22-1987 09-30-1988 284 1989 [none] — 1990 1 41 2 3 1988 1991 CRS-11 — — — — — — P.L. 101-100 103 Stat. 638-640 3 09-29-1989 10-25-1989 25 42 P.L. 101-130 103 Stat. 775-776 2 10-26-1989 11-15-1989 21 43 P.L. 101-154 103 Stat. 934 1 11-15-1989 11-20-1989 5 10-01-1990 10-05-1990 5 1 44 P.L. 101-403 104 Stat. 867-870 4h 2 45 P.L. 101-412 104 Stat. 894-897 4 10-09-1990 10-19-1990 14 3 46 P.L. 101-444 104 Stat. 1030-1033 4 10-19-1990 10-24-1990 5 4 47 P.L. 101-461 104 Stat. 1075-1078 4 10-25-1990 10-27-1990 3 5 48 P.L. 101-467 104 Stat. 1086-1087 2 10-28-1990 11-05-1990 9 Fiscal Year Number of Acts by Fiscal Year Number of Acts Cumulatively 1992 1 49 Public Law Number P.L. 102-109 Statutes-at-Large Citation 105 Stat. 551-554 Page Length 4 Enactment Date Expiration Date Duration in Daysa 09-30-1991 10-29-1990 29 16i 2 50 P.L. 102-145 105 Stat. 968-871 4 10-28-1991 11-14-1990i 3 51 P.L. 102-163 105 Stat. 1048 1 11-15-1991 11-26-1990 12 4 52 P.L. 102-266 106 Stat. 92-99 8 04-01-1992 09-30-1992 183 1993 1 53 P.L. 102-376 106 Stat. 1311-1314 4 10-01-1992 10-05-1992 5 1994 1 54 P.L. 103-88 107 Stat. 977-980 4 09-30-1993 10-21-1993 21 2 55 P.L. 103-113 107 Stat. 1114 1 10-21-1993 10-28-1993 7 3 56 P.L. 103-128 107 Stat. 1355 1 10-29-1993 11-10-1993 13 1995 [none] — 1996 1 57 2 — — P.L. 104-31 109 Stat. 278-282 5 09-30-1995 11-13-1995 44 58 P.L. 104-54 109 Stat. 540-545 6 11-19-1995 11-20-1995 7 3 59 P.L. 104-56 109 Stat. 548-553 6 11-20-1995 12-15-1995 25 4 60 P.L. 104-69 109 Stat. 767-772 6 12-22-1995 01-03-1996 19j 5 61 P.L. 104-90 110 Stat. 3-6 4 01-04-1996 01-25-1996 22j 6 62 P.L. 104-91 110 Stat. 10-14 5 01-06-1996 09-30-1996 290j 7 63 P.L. 104-92 110 Stat. 16-24 9 01-06-1996 09-30-1996 290j 8 64 P.L. 104-94 110 Stat. 25 1 01-06-1996 01-26-1996 42 9 65 P.L. 104-99 110 Stat. 26-47 22 01-26-1996 03-15-1996 49j 10 66 P.L. 104-116 110 Stat. 826 1 03-15-1996 03-22-1996 7 11 67 P.L. 104-118 110 Stat. 829 1 03-22-1996 03-29-1996 7 12 68 P.L. 104-122 110 Stat. 876-878 3 03-29-1996 04-24-1996 26j 13 69 P.L. 104-131 110 Stat. 1213 1 04-24-1996 04-25-1996 1 1997 [none] — 1998 1 70 P.L. 105-46 111 Stat. 1153-1158 6 09-30-1997 10-23-1997 23 2 71 P.L. 105-64 111 Stat. 1343 1 10-23-1997 11-07-1997 15 CRS-12 — — — — — — — — — — Fiscal Year 1999 2000 2001 CRS-13 Number of Acts by Fiscal Year Number of Acts Cumulatively 3 72 P.L. 105-68 111 Stat. 1453 1 11-07-1997 11-09-1997 2 4 73 P.L. 105-69 111 Stat. 1454 1 11-09-1997 11-10-1997 1 5 74 P.L. 105-71 111 Stat. 1456 1 11-10-1997 11-14-1997 4 6 75 P.L. 105-84 111 Stat. 1628 1 11-14-1997 11-26-1997 12 1 76 P.L. 105-240 112 Stat. 1566-1571 6 09-25-1998 10-09-1998 9 2 77 P.L. 105-249 112 Stat. 1868 1 10-09-1998 10-12-1998 3 3 78 P.L. 105-254 112 Stat. 1888 1 10-12-1998 10-14-1998 2 4 79 P.L. 105-257 112 Stat. 1901 1 10-14-1998 10-16-1998 2 5 80 P.L. 105-260 112 Stat. 1919 1 10-16-1998 10-20-1998 4 6 81 P.L. 105-273 112 Stat. 2418 1 10-20-1998 10-21-1998 1 1 82 P.L. 106-62 113 Stat. 505-509 5 09-30-1999 10-21-1999 21 2 83 P.L. 106-75 113 Stat. 1125 1 10-21-1999 10-29-1999 8 3 84 P.L. 106-85 113 Stat. 1297 1 10-29-1999 11-05-1999 7 4 85 P.L. 106-88 113 Stat. 1304 1 11-05-1999 11-10-1999 5 5 86 P.L. 106-94 113 Stat. 1311 1 11-10-1999 11-17-1999 7 6 87 P.L. 106-105 113 Stat. 1484 1 11-18-1999 11-18-1999 1 7 88 P.L. 106-106 113 Stat. 1485 1 11-19-1999 12-02-1999 14 1 89 P.L. 106-275 114 Stat. 808-811 4 09-29-2000 10-06-2000 6 2 90 P.L. 106-282 114 Stat. 866 1 10-06-2000 10-14-2000 8 3 91 P.L. 106-306 114 Stat. 1073 1 10-13-2000 10-20-2000 6 4 92 P.L. 106-344 114 Stat. 1318 1 10-20-2000 10-25-2000 5 5 93 P.L. 106-358 114 Stat. 1397 1 10-26-2000 10-26-2000 1 6 94 P.L. 106-359 114 Stat. 1398 1 10-26-2000 10-27-2000 1 7 95 P.L. 106-381 114 Stat. 1450 1 10-27-2000 10-28-2000 1 8 96 P.L. 106-388 114 Stat. 1550 1 10-28-2000 10-29-2000 1 Public Law Number Statutes-at-Large Citation Page Length Enactment Date Expiration Date Duration in Daysa Fiscal Year 2002 2003 CRS-14 Number of Acts by Fiscal Year Number of Acts Cumulatively 9 97 P.L. 106-389 114 Stat. 1551 1 10-29-2000 10-30-2000 1 10 98 P.L. 106-401 114 Stat. 1676 1 10-30-2000 10-31-2000 1 11 99 P.L. 106-403 114 Stat. 1741 1 11-01-2000 11-01-2000 1 12 100 P.L. 106-416 114 Stat. 1811 1 11-01-2000 11-02-2000 1 13 101 P.L. 106-426 114 Stat. 1897 1 11-03-2000 11-03-2000 1 14 102 P.L. 106-427 114 Stat. 1898 1 11-04-2000 11-04-2000 1 15 103 P.L. 106-428 114 Stat. 1899 1 11-04-2000 11-14-2000 10 16 104 P.L. 106-520 114 Stat. 2436-2437 2 11-15-2000 12-05-2000 21 17 105 P.L. 106-537 114 Stat. 2562 1 12-05-2000 12-07-2000 2 18 106 P.L. 106-539 114 Stat. 2570 1 12-07-2000 12-08-2000 1 19 107 P.L. 106-540 114 Stat. 2571 1 12-08-2000 12-11-2000 3 20 108 P.L. 106-542 114 Stat. 2713 1 12-11-2000 12-15-2000 4 21 109 P.L. 106-543 114 Stat. 2714 1 12-15-2000 12-21-2000 6 1 110 P.L. 107-44 115 Stat. 253-257 5 09-28-2001 10-16-2001 16 2 111 P.L. 107-48 115 Stat. 261 1 10-12-2001 10-23-2001 7 3 112 P.L. 107-53 115 Stat. 269 1 10-22-2001 10-31-2001 8 4 113 P.L. 107-58 115 Stat. 406 1 10-31-2001 11-16-2001 16 5 114 P.L. 107-70 115 Stat. 596 1 11-17-2001 12-07-2001 21 6 115 P.L. 107-79 115 Stat. 809 1 12-07-2001 12-15-2001 8 7 116 P.L. 107-83 115 Stat. 822 1 12-15-2001 12-21-2001 6 8 117 P.L. 107-97 115 Stat. 960 1 12-21-2001 01-10-2002 20 1 118 P.L. 107-229 116 Stat. 1465-1468 4 09-30-2002 10-04-2002 4 2 119 P.L. 107-235 116 Stat. 1482 1 10-04-2002 10-11-2002 7 3 120 P.L. 107-240 116 Stat. 1492-1495 4 10-11-2002 10-18-2002 7 4 121 P.L. 107-244 116 Stat. 1503 1 10-18-2002 11-22-2002 35 Public Law Number Statutes-at-Large Citation Page Length Enactment Date Expiration Date Duration in Daysa Fiscal Year 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 CRS-15 Number of Acts by Fiscal Year Number of Acts Cumulatively 5 122 P.L. 107-294 116 Stat. 2062-2063 2 11-23-2002 01-11-2003 50 6 123 P.L. 108-2 117 Stat. 5-6 2 01-10-2003 01-31-2003 20 7 124 P.L. 108-4 117 Stat. 8 1 01-31-2003 02-07-2003 7 8 125 P.L. 108-5 117 Stat. 9 1 02-07-2003 02-20-2003 13 1 126 P.L. 108-84 117 Stat. 1042-1047 6 09-30-2003 10-31-2003 31 2 127 P.L. 108-104 117 Stat. 1200 1 10-31-2003 11-07-2003 7 3 128 P.L. 108-107 117 Stat. 1240 1 11-07-2003 11-21-2003 14 4 129 P.L. 108-135 117 Stat. 1391 1 11-22-2003 01-31-2004 71 5 130 P.L. 108-185 117 Stat. 2684 1 12-16-2003 [n/a]k — 1 131 P.L. 108-309 118 Stat. 1137-1143 7 09-30-2004 11-20-2004 51 2 132 P.L. 108-416 118 Stat. 2338 1 11-21-2004 12-03-2004 13 3 133 P.L. 108-434 118 Stat. 2614 1 12-03-2004 12-08-2004 5 1 134 P.L. 109-77 119 Stat. 2037-2042 6 09-30-2005 11-18-2005 49 2 135 P.L. 109-105 119 Stat. 2287 1 11-19-2005 12-17-2005 29 3 136 P.L. 109-128 119 Stat. 2549 1 12-18-2005 12-31-2005 14 1 137 P.L. 109-289l 120 Stat. 1311-1316 6 09-29-2006 11-17-2006 48 2 138 P.L. 109-369 120 Stat. 2642 1 11-17-2006 12-08-2006 21 3 139 P.L. 109-383 120 Stat. 2678 1 12-09-2006 02-15-2007 69 4 140 P.L. 110-5 121 Stat. 8-60 53 02-15-2007 09-30-2007 227 1 141 P.L. 110-92 121 Stat. 989-998 10 09-29-2007 11-16-2007 47 121 Stat. 1341-1344 4 11-13-2007 12-14-2007 28 Public Law Number 110-116m Statutes-at-Large Citation Page Length Enactment Date Expiration Date Duration in Daysa 2 142 P.L. 3 143 P.L. 110-137 121 Stat. 1454 1 12-14-2007 12-21-2007 7 4 144 P.L. 110-149 121 Stat. 1819 1 12-21-2007 12-31-2007 10 1 145 P.L. 110-329 122 Stat. 3574-3716 143 09-30-2008 03-06-2009 157 2 146 P.L. 111-6 123 Stat. 522 1 03-06-2009 03-11-2009 5 Fiscal Year Number of Acts by Fiscal Year Number of Acts Cumulatively 2010 1 147 P.L. 111-68n 123 Stat. 2043-2053 11 10-01-2009 10-31-2009 31 148 111-88o 123 Stat. 2972-2974 3 10-30-2009 12-18-2009 48 2 Public Law Number P.L. Statutes-at-Large Citation Page Length Enactment Date Expiration Date Duration in Daysa Sources: Prepared by the Congressional Research Service using data from: (1) the Legislative Information System; (2) Congressional Research Service, Appropriations Status Tables (various fiscal years), available at http://crs.gov/Pages/appover.aspx; and (3) various other sources. a. Duration is measured, in the case of the initial continuing resolution for a fiscal year, from the first day of the year (October 1) through the expiration date. For subsequent continuing resolutions for a fiscal year, duration is measured from the expiration date of the preceding continuing resolution. In several instances, as appropriate, the number of days reflects an extra day in a leap year (every fourth year beginning with calendar year 1976). Several continuing resolutions provided continuing appropriations for mixed periods of time. For example, three continuing resolutions—P.L. 96-86 (for FY1980), P.L. 97-51 (for FY1982), and P.L. 97-276 (for FY1983)—were enacted in November or December of the applicable year for periods covering 51 days, 51 days, and 78 days, respectively, but they also included continuing appropriations for the remainder of that fiscal year for activities covered by the Legislative Branch Appropriations Act. (See also the discussion of actions for FY1996 under footnote “j.”) In these instances, the “Duration in Days” column reflects the time period that applied predominately to activities funded by the measure. b. Title IV (95 Stat. 95-96) of P.L. 97-12, the Supplemental Appropriations and Rescission Act for FY1981, provided continuing appropriations for FY1981; the other titles of the act (95 Stat. 14-95) are excluded from the page count. c. P.L. 97-377 incorporated the full text of various regular appropriations acts. d. Title I (98 Stat. 1837-1976) of P.L. 98-473 provided continuing appropriations for FY1985; the other title, Title II (98 Stat. 1976-2199), set forth the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984, and is excluded from the page count. e. P.L. 99-190 incorporated the full text of various regular appropriations acts. f. P.L. 99-591 superseded P.L. 99-500 and corrected enrollment errors in the earlier act; both laws originated as H.J.Res. 738. g. P.L. 100-202 incorporated the full text of various regular appropriations acts. h. Title I (104 Stat. 867-870) of P.L. 101-403 provided continuing appropriations for FY1991; Titles II and III (104 Stat. 871-874) provided supplemental appropriations and are excluded from the page count. i. Section 106(c) of P.L. 102-145 provided that, as an exception to the general expiration date, continuing appropriations for the Foreign Operation Appropriations Act would expire on March 31, 1992 (a duration of 154 days). j. A total of 13 continuing resolutions were enacted for FY1996 (and one was vetoed) during a period of heightened confrontation over budgetary legislation between Congress and President Bill Clinton. Two funding gaps occurred, the first in mid-November 1995 and the second from mid-December 1995 until early January 1996. The continuing resolutions for this year may be divided into two categories depending on whether their coverage generally was comprehensive or selective. Nine of the continuing resolutions enacted for FY1996 generally provided short-term funding for all activities under the regular appropriations acts that had not yet been enacted, while the other four provided funding only for selected activities within certain acts. The four acts in the latter category included the following: (1) P.L. 104-69, which funded the Aid to Families With Dependent Children (AFDC) and Foster Care and Adoption Assistance programs, programs of the District of Columbia, and certain veterans’ programs; (2) P.L. 104-90, which funded programs of the District of Columbia; (3) P.L. 104-91, Title I, which funded a variety of programs, including ones pertaining to the Peace Corps, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Federal CRS-16 Bureau of Investigation, trade adjustment assistance benefits, and the National Institutes of Health, among others; and (4) P.L. 104-92, which funded a variety of programs, including ones pertaining to nutrition services for the elderly, visitor services in the National Park System, certain veterans’ programs, and programs of the District of Columbia, among others. Activities under two of the regular appropriations acts for FY1996 were funded through the end of the fiscal year (September 30, 1996) in continuing resolutions: (1) Title IV of P.L. 104-92 provided such funding for activities covered by the District of Columbia Appropriations Act; and (2) Title III of P.L. 104-99 provided such funding for activities covered by the Foreign Operations Appropriations Act. In addition, other selected activities were funded through the remainder of the fiscal year in P.L. 104-91, P.L. 104-92, and P.L. 104-122. Action on the regular appropriations acts for FY1996 was concluded with the enactment of P.L. 104-134, the Omnibus Consolidated Rescissions and Appropriations Act of 1996, on April 26, 1996 (110 Stat. 1321 through 1321-381), which provided funding for the remainder of the fiscal year for activities covered by five of the regular appropriations acts. Three of the continuing resolutions had mixed periods of duration. The duration shown in the table was determined as follows: (1) most of the funding provided in P.L. 104-92 was for the remainder of the fiscal year, so a duration of 290 days was used; (2) while the funding provided in P.L. 104-99 for activities covered by the Foreign Operations Appropriations Act was for the remainder of the fiscal year, the funding provided for activities covered by four other regular appropriations acts was through March 15, 1996, so a duration of 49 days was used; and (3) most of the funding provided in P.L. 104-122 was through April 24, while only one account was funded through the remainder of the fiscal year, so a duration of 26 days was used. In the case of P.L. 104-91, a measure requiring the Secretary of Commerce to convey to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts the National Marine Fisheries Service laboratory located on Emerson Avenue in Gloucester, Massachusetts, Title I (110 Stat. 10-14) of the act provided continuing appropriations for selected activities for the remainder of FY1996; Section 1 (110 Stat. 7-10) and Title II (110 Stat. 14-15) pertained to other matters and are excluded from the page count. Section 110 of the act made the funding effective as of December 16, 1995. k. P.L. 108-185 contained provisions affecting funding levels for two specified programs, but did not contain a provision affecting the expiration date of January 31, 2004, established in the preceding continuing resolution (P.L. 108-135). l. Continuing appropriations for FY2007 were provided by Division B (120 Stat. 1311-1316) of P.L. 109-289, the Defense Appropriations Act for FY2007; the other portions of the act (120 Stat. 1257-1311) are excluded from the page count. m. Continuing appropriations for FY2008 were provided by Division B (121 Stat. 1341-1344) of P.L. 110-116, the Defense Appropriations Act for FY2008; the other portions of the act (121 Stat. 1295-1341) are excluded from the page count. n. Continuing appropriations for FY2010 were provided by Division B (123 Stat. 2043-2053) of P.L. 111-68, the Legislative Branch Appropriations Act for FY2010; the other portions of the act (123 Stat. 2023-2043) are excluded from the page count. o. Continuing appropriations for FY2010 were provided by Division B (123 Stat. 2972-2974) of P.L. 111-88, the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for FY2010; the other portions of the act (123 Stat. 2904-2972) are excluded from the page count. CRS-17 Duration of Continuing Resolutions in Recent Years Author Contact Information Jessica Tollestrup Analyst on Congress and the Legislative Process jtollestrup@crs.loc.gov, 7-0941 Acknowledgments The original version of this report was written by Robert Keith, formerly a Specialist in American National Government at CRS. The listed author has revised and updated this report and is available to respond to inquiries on the subject. Congressional Research Service 18