Dewonkify – Outlays

Term: Outlays

Definition: Outlays refers to the actual disbursement of funds by the U.S. Treasury to meet obligations incurred by the federal government. They are typically referred to as spending or expenditures.

Used in a sentence:The U.S. government posted the widest monthly budget surplus in more than five years in June, as spending plunged 47 percent and a stronger economy lifted tax receipts, the Treasury Department said.

 Receipts exceeded outlays by $116.5 billion last month, the biggest surplus since April 2008, compared with a $59.7 billion deficit in June 2012, the Treasury said today in Washington. The result exceeded the $115 billion median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of 21 economists.” -Bloomberg

History: Article I, Section 9, Clause 7 of the United States Constitution states:

“No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.”

In a textbook budget process, the President proposes a budget to Congress on a yearly basis in the beginning February. Subsequently, both the House and Senate propose and pass their own budgets and reconcile them to set “top-line” numbers for the relevant accounts within the federal government.  These “budgets resolutions,” are not signed by the President, and do not carry the force of law. From these numbers, the House and Senate appropriations committees divide the allocations among the 12 subcommittees, thus determining the actual funding levels for each agency and program. These bills are signed by the President and carry the force of law. From this process the federal government is authorized to produce expenditures or outlays to pay for the programs necessary to continue government operations.

This entry was posted in 113th Congress, Appropriations, Budget, House, Senate and tagged , , by Jose Woss. Bookmark the permalink.
Jose Woss

About Jose Woss

José Woss is passionate about policy issues and the legislative process. José works closely with the team to research policy and legislative matters to find creative approaches to client needs. He focuses his work primarily on health care issues, global health policy, and foreign relations. He assists clients with scheduling and coordination of Hill days and meetings with Congressional staff. José enjoys monitoring important Congressional and regulatory matters. Additionally, drawing from his personal appreciation for technology and social media, he works to promote the success of both the team and the team’s clients through Twitter. Before joining the District Policy Group, José worked for U.S. Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ). As a staff assistant and interim deputy press secretary, he honed his passion for policy and advocacy. José currently lives in Washington, D.C. Previously, José was an advocate in the New York/New Jersey region. He worked directly with underrepresented communities as a social worker in Housing Works’ Brooklyn, NY office and as a case aid/interpreter for West African refugees with the International Institute of New Jersey in Jersey City, NJ. José graduated from Montclair State University with a bachelor’s degree in french translation and international studies. He is currently pursuing a Master of Public Administration at American University. He loves to bike long-distance, and listen to podcasts, including the BBC World Service, political satire and commentary, and NPR.

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