Backdoor Spending Authority – legislative glossary

Backdoor Spending Authority

Budget authority provided in legislation outside of the normal appropriations process. The most common forms of backdoor spending are borrowing authority, contract authority, entitlements, and loan guarantees that commit the government to payments of principal and interest on loans – such as Guaranteed Student Loans – made by banks or other private lenders. Loan guarantees result in actual outlays only when there is a default by the borrower.

In some cases, such as interest on the public debt, a permanent appropriation is provided that becomes available without further action by Congress.

From TheCapitol.Net’s Glossary of Congressional and Legislative Terms, which can also be found in the Congressional Deskbook.

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