President Bush has signed into law a bill that keeps federal agencies operating through October, generally at their current funding levels. The continuing resolution was signed on Sept. 30, the last day of fiscal year 2003. The "CR" was necessary because Congress has passed only three of the 13 appropriations bills for fiscal 2004.


The CR excludes programs to be funded under those three approved spending bills: Dept. of Defense, Dept. of Homeland Security, and legislative branch, which funds the operations of Congress itself. Separately, Bush also signed the 2004 legislative branch spending measure in the morning of Sept. 30.

Among the other appropriations bills still unfinished on Capitol Hill were those funding most of the major construction programs, including those at the Dept. of Transportation, Corps of Engineers, Dept. of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency and General Services Administration.