Cyclopedia of Congressional Budget Law

Liquidating Appropriation


Congress may make an appropriation that grants authority to draw money from the Treasury but does not grant budget authority. Such an appropriation is known by a more specific term. For example, a “liquidating appropriation” provides authority to draw money from the Treasury to satisfy obligations incurred pursuant to contract authority (discussed in the next sub-section). A “deficiency appropriation” provides authority to satisfy obligations that exceeded an agency’s available budget authority. The word “appropriation” appearing alone nearly always refers to a provision of law that grants both budget authority and authority to make payments from the Treasury.

[From GAO Principles of Appropriations Law, Volume II]


GAO Glossary of Terms and Definition (September 2005)

Liquidating Appropriation

An appropriation to pay obligations incurred pursuant to substantive legislation, usually contract authority. A liquidating appropriation is not recorded as budget authority.

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Liquidating Account