GAO Glossary of Terms Used in the Federal Budget Process (September 2005)

Authorizing Committee

A standing committee of the House or Senate with legislative jurisdiction over the establishment, continuation, and operations of federal programs or agencies. The jurisdiction of such committees extends, in addition to program legislation, to authorization of appropriations legislation. (Normally, authorization of appropriations legislation is a prerequisite for making appropriations for the given programs or agencies.) An authorizing committee also has jurisdiction in those instances where backdoor authority is provided in the substantive legislation. For further discussion, see the current rules of the House of Representatives and the Senate. (See also Authorizing Legislation; Backdoor Authority/Backdoor Spending; Oversight Committee; Spending Committee.)

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Authorizing Legislation