Federal Budget (West's Encyclopedia of American Law)
An annual effort to balance federal spending in such areas as forestry, education, space technology, and the national defense, with revenue, which the United States collects largely through federal taxes.
Of the three branches of the U.S. government, Congress has the power to determine federal spending, pursuant to Article I, Section 9, of the U.S. Constitution, which states, "No money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law." The drafters of the Constitution sought to secure the federal SPENDING POWER with legislators rather than the president, to keep separate the powers of purse and sword. In The Federalist No. 58, JAMES MADISON wrote, "This power of the purse may, in fact, be regarded as the most complete and effectual weapon with which any constitution can arm the immediate representatives of the people."
Still, the Constitution reserved for the president some role in legislative decisions regarding federal spending. The president may recommend budget allowances for what he considers "necessary and expedient," and if Congress does not heed these recommendations, the president may assert his qualified VETO power. But the ultimate determinations of federal expenditures belong to Congress.
When the federal...
(The entire section is 2517 words.)
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