With fiscal year 2013 appropriations bills on a slow pace in Congress, few, if any, of the 12 measures that fund various federal agencies are expected to be enacted by Oct. 1, when the new fiscal year begins. That means Congress will turn again to a continuing resolution (CR). "Otherwise, the government shuts down," says Jeffrey Shoaf, Associated General Contractors senior executive director for government affairs. "No one wants that four weeks before the election." That CR could extend past the Nov. 6 elections into an expected lame-duck session.

As of July 16, the House had passed five of the FY13 spending bills; the chamber's Appropriations Committee had cleared six others. The Senate had approved none of the 2013 bills; nine of the measures were through committee.