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GAO Assesses Impact of Continuing Resolutions on Programs at 3 Federal Agencies

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The Government Accountability Office evaluated the impact of continuing resolutions on programs at departments of Agriculture, Education and Health and Human Services and found that CRs can cause administrative burdens and funding uncertainty and slow down hiring activities at these agencies.

The three federal programs reviewed by GAO are the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program of HHS, the Education Department’s PBI Formula Grants and USDA’s Section 521 Rural Rental Assistance, according to a report publicly released Monday.

The congressional watchdog found that the three agencies have implemented strategies to mitigate disruption to services and operations under stopgap measures.

Under LIHEAP, for instance, HHS can request and get an exception apportionment that permits grantees to secure 90 percent of the previous fiscal year’s funding at the start of the next fiscal year. 

According to the report, Congress and the U.S. president enacted 47 stopgap measures between FY 2010 and FY 2022 to avoid a government shutdown and continue operating federal agencies at current funding levels.