Continuing Resolution

Commonly abbreviated as CR, this is a type of congressional legislation that provides budget authority for federal agencies and programs to continue operating until their formal appropriation bills are passed. Government departments and agencies are funded by Congress on a year-to-year basis by appropriation bills. When the bills are not passed by Oct. 1 (the beginning of the government’s fiscal year), both houses of Congress and the president must agree to a CR or the government cannot operate. A government shutdown last occurred in 1995, when Democratic President Bill Clinton and the Republican-led Congress clashed over several budget issues.