It's still early in the appropriations process for fiscal year 2013. But if history is any guide, Congress probably will not pass all of the major appropriations bills -- and maybe not any -- by the end of the current fiscal year on Sept. 30. If true, lawmakers will have to pass continuing resolutions, which generally provide funding for all or parts of the government at the current funding levels.
The first graph below shows the number of continuing resolutions passed by Congress and signed by the president in each fiscal year since 2000. The second graph shows the time between the enactment of a CR and a subsequent CR, as represented by color blocks (hover over each block for details).
Fiscal 2011 is noteworthy for the number of days after the end of the previous fiscal year that the federal government relied on funding through continuing resolutions. Going to the other extreme, Congress passed the most continuing resolutions for fiscal 2001, but many of them were for only one day.