Power of the Purse: Restoring Congress's Directed Spending Authority
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Article I of the Constitution provides that Congress has primary authority to determine federal spending priorities: “No money shall be drawn from the treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by law.” However, Congress has turned over more and more authority to the executive branch, empowering it to make decisions about which programs, projects, and communities receive funding. The 117th Congress began to turn that dynamic around when it reformed and resurrected one of its most impactful tools: congressionally directed spending.
Congressionally directed spending, also known as earmarks, allows our elected representatives to use their unique understanding of community needs to ensure priorities in their districts receive federal support.
Join BPC, the American Enterprise Institute, and experts on Congress as we assess how earmarks have been restored and how it can be improved in the future.
Senior Fellow, Governance Studies, Brookings Institution
President, Congressional Institute
Senior Fellow, American Enterprise Institute (AEI)
Director, U.S. Government Accountability Office
Deputy Chief of Staff and Legislative Director, Office of Rep. Ashley Hinson (R-IA-1)
Director of Special Initiatives, POPVOX Foundation
Policy Technologist, Lincoln Network
Senior Advisor, BPC
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