Effects of Budget Uncertainty from Continuing Resolutions on Agency Operations

March 13, 2013

What GAO Found

Because CRs only provide funding until agreement is reached on final appropriations, they create uncertainty for agencies about both when they will receive their final appropriation and what level of funding ultimately will be available. Effects of CRs on federal agencies differ based in part on the duration and number of CRs and may vary by agency and program. CRs include provisions that prohibit agencies from beginning new activities and projects and direct agencies to take only the most limited funding actions. Congress can provide flexibility for certain programs and initiatives through the use of legislative anomalies, which provide funding and authorities different from the standard CR provisions.

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