Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, has introduced a continuing resolution (CR) to keep the federal government open through Feb. 16, his office announced late Jan. 16.

If enacted into law, the CR (H.J.Res. 125) will replace the one that expires Jan. 19, becoming the fourth such stopgap measure for fiscal year 2018. The CRs are needed because Congress has not reached agreement on an FY 2018 budget, something Frelinghuysen said lawmakers should resolve quickly. Capitol under clouds

“We are now four months into the 2018 fiscal year, and Congress must act as soon as possible to ensure that proper, year-long funding for our national defense and other critical federal programs is enacted,” Frelinghuysen said in a statement.

Whether Congress will pass the latest CR and avert a government shutdown is unclear, partly because many lawmakers assert that CRs are hurting military readiness.

CRs lack the certainty and robust funding of an annual defense appropriations bill. After the current CR was enacted last month, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) called the measure “a dereliction of the first and foremost duty of Congress to provide for the common defense” (Defense Daily, Dec. 22, 2017).