Definition of Discretionary Spending
By Dave Manuel
What is "discretionary spending"? What is the definition of the term "discretionary spending"?
"Discretionary spending" and "mandatory spending" are the two types of spending that make up the sum total US government expenditures on a yearly basis.
"Mandatory spending" is spending that is automatically obligated due to previously-enacted laws. This would include things such as Social Security and the interest on the national debt.
"Discretionary spending", on the other hand, consists of US government expenditures that are set on a yearly basis. This is money that members of Congress can adjust on a yearly basis.
Examples of discretionary spending in the United States:
-Environmental Protection Agency
-Department of Veterans Affairs
When looking to cut costs, lawmakers usually look to trimming discretionary spending.
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