Discretionary usually modifies “spending,” “appropriation,” or “amount.”
Discretionary appropriation refers to those budgetary resources that are provided in appropriation acts, other than those that fund mandatory programs.
Discretionary amount refers to the level of budget authority, outlays, or other budgetary resources (other than those which fund mandatory programs) that are provided in, and controlled by, appropriation acts.
Contrast to Mandatory Spending.
Discretionary and mandatory outlays of the US Federal Government
- Chapter 7.D. Reconciliation Bills; Chapter 7.F. PAYGO; Chapter 7.H. Appropriations; Chapter 7.K. Earmarks; in Congressional Procedure
- Entitlement Authority
- Budget Authority (CongressionalGlossary.com)
- Appropriation Act / Appropriation Bill / Continuing Resolution / Continuing Appropriations (CongressionalGlossary.com)
- Appropriation / Cardinals of Congress (CongressionalGlossary.com)
- Outlay (CongressionalGlossary.com)
- “Budget Enforcement Procedures: The Senate Pay-As-You-Go (PayGO) Rule,” CRS Report RL31943 (28-page PDF)
- “Budget Reconciliation Legislation: Development and Consideration,” CRS Report 98-814 (5-page PDF)
- “Discretionary Spending Levels Under the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018,” CRS Insight IN10861 (6-page PDF)
- “Impact of the Budget Control Act Discretionary Spending Caps on a Continuing Resolution,” CRS insight IN10817 (5-page PDF)
- “The Budget Control Act and the Defense Budget: Frequently Asked Questions,” CRS Report R44039 (20-page PDF)
- “Discretionary Spending Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA),” CRS Report R41390 (xx-page PDF)
- “Federally Supported Water Supply and Wastewater Treatment Programs,” CRS Report RL30478 (47-page PDF)
- “Defense Authorization and Appropriations Bills: FY1961-FY2021,” CRS Report 98-756 (50-page PDF)
- “The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 and an FY2019 Budget Resolution,” CRS Report R45157 (34-page PDF)
- “The Budget Control Act: Frequently Asked Questions,” CRS Report R44874 (21-page PDF)
- “The Budget Control Act and Trends in Discretionary Spending,” CRS Report RL34424 (52-page PDF)
- “A National Disgrace: The federal budget process threatens America’s future.” By John Steele Gordon, City Journal, February 19, 2021
- Congressional Operations Briefing – Capitol Hill Workshop
- Drafting Federal Legislation and Amendments
- Writing for Government and Business: Critical Thinking and Writing
- Custom Training
- Congressional Operations Poster, with Federal Budget Process Flowchart
- Federal Budgeting, a Five-Course series on CD
- Congress, the Legislative Process, and the Fundamentals of Lawmaking Series, a Nine-Course series on CD
The Federal Budget Process 2E
Citizen’s Handbook to Influencing Elected Officials: A Guide for Citizen Lobbyists and Grassroots Advocates
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