Sometime in the next 24 hours we will be switching European Tribune over to a new layout. This will involve a little downtime and no doubt some teething troubles. Do not adjust your set. - Colman

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The US budget process involves separate "authorization" and "appropriation" steps. Every year, for every budget item.
In general, funds for federal government programs must be authorized by an "authorizing committee" through enactment of legislation. Then, through subsequent acts by Congress, budget authority is then appropriated by the Appropriations Committee of the House. In principle, committees with jurisdiction to authorize programs make policy decisions, while the Appropriations Committees decide on funding levels, limited to a program's authorized funding level, though the amount may be any amount less than the limit.

In practice, the separation between policy making and funding, and the division between appropriations and authorization activities are imperfect. Authorizations for many programs have long lapsed, yet still receive appropriated amounts. Other programs that are authorized receive no funds at all.[citation needed] In addition, policy language--that is legislative text changing permanent law--is included in appropriation measures.

I don't know whether that's a Constitutional requirement as Oliver implies.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Jan 13th, 2013 at 05:29:13 AM EST
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