Definition of Discretionary Spending

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 - Definition"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:

-defense budget
-Environmental Protection Agency
-Department of Veterans Affairs

When looking to cut costs, lawmakers usually look to trimming discretionary spending.

-- Articles That Mention Discretionary Spending:

US Consumer Spending Hits Five Year High

What is Sequestration?

CBO: Net Interest To Total $5.41 Trillion Over Next Ten Years

Counter: House Republicans Send Obama Their "Fiscal Cliff" Offer

US Debt Talks Break Down - Again