Authorizations of appropriations are provisions of law that authorize funds to be provided through a future appropriation act to carry out a program or function. They differ from other authorizations (sometimes called enabling or organic statutes) that create a federal agency, establish a federal program, prescribe a federal function, or provide for a particular federal obligation or expenditure within a program. Authorizations of appropriations also differ from appropriations, which provide funding.
Each year, CBO reports to the Congress on programs and activities whose authorizations of appropriations have already expired or will expire during the current fiscal year. For this report, CBO identified 1,046 authorizations of appropriations that expired before the beginning of fiscal year 2020 that had not been overtaken by subsequent legislation. CBO estimates that $332 billion in appropriations for 2020 can be associated with 407 of those expired authorizations. It cannot identify appropriations for the other 639 expired authorizations.
This report summarizes the information sorted by jurisdiction (for the applicable House and Senate authorizing committees and for the appropriations subcommittees). The report is accompanied by supplemental data underlying those summaries in sortable and searchable spreadsheets that list every authorization of appropriations that CBO is currently tracking in its Legislative Classification System.
For more information on CBO’s estimates for appropriation legislation, visit the agency’s Status of Appropriations page.