Definition of the Week: appropriations bill
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An appropriations bill is a piece of legislation passed by Congress giving federal agencies the legal authority to spend money.
Each year, by the beginning of the next fiscal year (October 1), Congress is supposed to pass 12 appropriations bills. So far this year, Congress has not passed any. If the Congress doesn’t make that deadline, it will usually pass a “continuing resolution” that will fund government agencies at the previous year’s spending levels.