5 October 2015

A Continuing Resolution to Start Fiscal Year 2016

Heather Bloemhard

The punchline: The government didn’t shut down. The continuing resolution (CR) sets funding levels at nearly FY 2015 levels — there is a ~0.2% cut across the board to keep everything under the budget caps set by the Budget Control Act of 2011.

Read on for more details:

The Capitol dome isn't the only thing under construction. The FY 2016 budget still isn't complete.


FY 2015 just ended, and rather than passing new appropriations by the 30 September deadline, Congress passed and President Obama signed a continuing resolution (CR). This CR extends the deadline to 11 December. For the duration of the CR, funding levels are set at nearly FY 2015 levels. Since the Murray-Ryan budget deal expired at the end of FY 2015, the Budget Control Act’s sequestration limits are back in place. This necessitates a 0.2108% cut to all agencies.

The saga of FY 2016 appropriations is far from over. In the course of the next 72 days Congress will still have to negotiate and pass a budget that President Obama will sign. The same issues regarding the caps on defense and non-defense discretionary spending are still relevant, as are many of the same policy riders that were attempted in recent weeks. Many are still hopeful that a budget deal that relaxes the caps for another 2 years is possible, but it has been suggested that such a deal will not be easily reached; see “Shutdown fight pushed to December” and “Republicans, White House in Fresh Budget Talks.”