appears increasingly unlikely Congress will pass a budget before
September 30. Senate leaders already are in talks with the White House
to plan a continuing resolution (CR) to keep the government running
through early December.
A CR is extremely disruptive to federal
agencies because it places them in the position of planning in
three-month increments versus executing long-term budget plans they
For DoD, the absence of long-term funding can mean:
- Planned force level changes (increases or decreases) must be put on hold;
- If the CR runs past January first, the military pay raise could be put on hold;
is prevented from adjusting funding away from programs that were to be
terminated or downsized, wasting millions of dollars; and
pay and SBP annuities (including COLAs, if any) would be paid on time,
since those are mandatory spending programs that aren't subject to
Among VA programs, veterans and
survivors will continue to receive disability compensation and pension
payments, but a CR would affect other functions that may leave veterans
seeing reduced services.
The president requested a $1.7 billion
funding hike for VA medical care that will not be provided. Under a CR,
planned expansions of Hepatitis C treatments, $83 million in funding for
caregivers, and expanded funding for long-term care programs couldn't
The VA will also be unable to move forward with
opening some newly leased or constructed medical clinics because the
$238 million in new funding for equipment, supplies and staffing won't
Further, VA won't be able to hire the extra 300
employees planned to “right size” its workforce in claims processing, so
backlogs will rise.
At the end of the day, CRs create massive inefficiencies for the government.
would be far more efficient and the people would be much better off if
Congress could pass its appropriations on time so all agencies could
move forward with long-term planning and improvements.