Budgeting By CR: It’s No Way To Run A Government

Instead of passing a budget each year as they’re supposed to, Congress regularly funds the federal government with short extensions that are based on existing spending levels.

By Jill AmentJanuary 25, 2018 11:47 am

After last week’s high drama, leading to the short government shutdown, lawmakers in Washington agreed early this week on a short-term spending resolution – a continuing resolution. That CR will expire in a few days.

Darren Samuelsohn, senior reporter at Politico says that CRs have now become the norm, rather than an emergency solution. He says Congress isn’t doing its job.

Continuing resolutions now fund all the spending of government, especially the Pentagon.

“It’s about as inefficient as you can get in actually trying to plan ahead, and actually govern on a weekly, monthly, or annual basis,” Samuelsohn says. When Congress governs by CR, it means that the previous budget remains in effect. The CR is merely a “Band-Aid” that extends funding for a short period of time, without regard to the priorities of the president or Congress.

Samuelsohn says Congress has been using the CR as a tool for around 42 years. Samuelsohn say the 12 bills that fund the government are supposed to be debated and approved by the House and Senate, then sent to the president.

“Typically what they do is bundle them all together in a giant, omnibus spending bill, which is usually where you end up hearing about the trillions of dollars of government spending,” Samuelson says.

Written by Angela Bonilla.