With none of the fiscal year 2008 appropriations bills enacted yet, President Bush signed a stopgap measure on Sept. 29 that will keep federal programs operating for the first seven weeks of the new fiscal year. The legislation also extends funding authority for federal airport construction grants, which were due to expire Sept. 30.

The continuing resolution funds programs through Nov. 16, generally at their fiscal 2007 spending levels. The new legislation averts a cutoff of federal Airport Improvement Program grants by providing contract authority and allowing aviation taxes to be collected through Nov. 16. The continuing resolution sets AIP funding at the rate of $3.675 billion.

The extension gives Congress several more weeks to produce a multiyear aviation reauthorization measure. The House has approved a four-year aviation bill, and pieces of the eventual Senate version have cleared committee.

The use of continuing resolutions is nothing new. There were four CRs in fiscal 2007 and three each for 2006 and 2005, says the House Appropriations Committee.