Appropriation / Cardinals of Congress
David Hawkings’ Whiteboard: How Appropriations is Supposed to Work
Appropriation: Provision of law that provides authority for federal agencies to obligate funds and to make payments out of the Treasury for specified purposes. Appropriations for the federal government are provided both in annual appropriations acts and in permanent provisions of law. The formal federal spending process consists of two sequential steps: authorization and then appropriation.
Senator Blunt Questions EPA’s FY2013 Budget Request at Appropriations Subcommittee Hearing 5/16/2012
The House Appropriations Committee has twelve subcommittees, and the Senate Appropriations Committee has twelve subcommittees. The chairmen of these subcommittees are referred to as “Congressional Cardinals” or the “Cardinals of Congress” because they hold the purse strings for federal agencies, projects and programs.
The budget is like a personal budget—your plan for how much money you expect to be earning, how much money you will spend and how you will spend it.
Authorizations may be thought of as decisions you might make that impact your budget, such as signing an apartment lease, buying an automobile, purchasing a home, or even having a child.
Appropriations are like payments you actually make under your budget, like paying the rent, utility bills, or buying groceries. You might have budgeted $300 for groceries, but ended up spending $350. Your appropriation is $350.
If you spend more than you bring in, you must borrow the difference. If you spend less, you have a surplus and may be able to invest it or save for a child’s education.
The “Status of Appropriations Legislation” can be found on Congress.gov.
- Appropriation Act / Appropriation Bill
- Budget Authority
- § 7.80 Authorizations and Appropriations Processes, § 8.50 Congress and the Executive: Appropriations, § 8.160 Congress and Foreign Policy: Legislation, Appropriations, and Nominations, in Congressional Deskbook
- Chapter 7.H. Appropriations in Congressional Procedure
Birding by Ear: Northern Cardinal Song
- House Committee On Appropriations
- Senate Committee on Appropriations
- House of Representatives Committee On Appropriations – Wikipedia
- Senate Committee on Appropriations – Wikipedia
- House Rule XXI – Restrictions On Certain Bills
- Senate Rule XVI – Appropriations and Amendments to General Appropriations Bills
- “The Congressional Appropriations Process: An Introduction,” CRS Report R42388 (28-page PDF)
- “The Congressional Appropriations Process: An Introduction,” CRS Report 97-684 (30-page PDF)
- “Advance Appropriations, Forward Funding, and Advance Funding,” CRS Report RS20441 (6-page PDF)
- “Supplemental Appropriations,” CRS Report RL33134 (13-page PDF)
- “The Appropriations Process and the Congressional Budget Act,” CRS Report 97-947 (12-page PDF)
- “Appropriations Subcommittee Structure: History of Changes from 1920-2017,” CRS Report RL31572 (18-page PDF)
- “Examples of Legislative Provisions in Annual Appropriations Acts,” CRS Report RL30619 (25-page PDF)
- “Cardinals to Boehner: Crack whip,” by Molly K. Hooper, The Hill, November 30, 2011
- “Frelinghuysen Names Appropriations ‘Cardinals’ for 115th Congress,” by Cameron Easley, January 10, 2017
- “Budget Process and Enforcement,” Parliamentary Boot Camp (4-page PDF)
- Principles of Federal Appropriations Law, GAO’s Red Book – GAO
Fiscal Law #1 – Overview
- Congressional Operations Briefing – Capitol Hill Workshop
- Drafting Federal Legislation and Amendments
- Writing for Government and Business: Critical Thinking and Writing
- Custom, On-Site 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
CongressionalGlossary.com, from TheCapitol.Net
For more than 40 years, TheCapitol.Net and its predecessor, Congressional Quarterly Executive Conferences, have been teaching professionals from government, military, business, and NGOs about the dynamics and operations of the legislative and executive branches and how to work with them.
Our on-site training, publications, and audio courses include congressional operations, legislative and budget process, communication and advocacy, media and public relations, testifying before Congress, research skills, legislative drafting, critical thinking and writing, and more.
TheCapitol.Net is on the GSA Schedule, 874-4, for custom on-site training. GSA Contract GS02F0192X
TheCapitol.Net is a non-partisan small business.
Teaching how Washington and Congress work ™