On January 25, 1988, in his State of the Union Address, President Reagan blasted Congress for the budget process culminating in the Fiscal Year 1988 (FY 88) continuing resolution. 1 Contending that "[m]ost of you in this chamber didn't know what was in this [2100-page] catch all bill and [accompanying conference] report," the President boldly proclaimed that he would not sign "another one of these." 2 This damning statement, rather than inciting the hostility associated with unfounded accusations, provoked the wild appreciation associated with a minister preaching to the faithful. Indeed, since Congress's passage of the resolution, pledges of support for the President's stand have been made by enough Congressmen and Senators to sustain such a veto. 3 There is good reason to dislike the FY 88 continuing resolution: the bill shattered Congress's reputation as a deliberative body. Fearing the imminent shutdown of the government, 4 Congress adopted internal rules to preclude debate and amendment and effectively to deny access to the final version of the bill. 5 In essence, the resolution appears the secretive work-product of powerful legislators and their aides. This article's concern is the recent proliferation of continuing resolutions and the legal issues associated with that proliferation -- matters that received only scant attention in my earlier piece on limitation riders. 6 In reviewing the causes and contents of last year's continuing resolution, this article will not altogether remove the negative cast put on continuing resolutions. 7 At the same time, ...
Neal E. Devins,
Appropriations Redux: A Critical Look at the Fiscal Year 1988 Continuing Resolution,
1988 Duke Law Journal
Available at: http://scholarship.law.duke.edu/dlj/vol37/iss2/11