“All Bills for elevating Revenue shall originate in the Housage of Representatives; but the Senate might propose or concur via amendments as on other Bills.”—U.S. Constitution, Message I, section 7, clause 1“No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, however in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and also a continuous Statement and also Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be publimelted from time to time.”—UNITED STATE Constitution, Blog post I, area 9, clause 7

/tiles/non-collection/i/i_origins_power_purse_approps_lc.xml Image courtesy of the Library of Congress The steustatiushistory.org Appropriations Committee in 1918 featuring (from left to right) future Secretary of State James F. Byrnes of South Carolina, previous Speaker Joseph Cannon of Illinois, Chairguy J. Swagar Sherley of Kentucky, future Speaker Frederick Gillett of Massachusetts, future Secretary of War James W. Good of Iowa, and also future Speaker Joseph Byrns of Tennessee.

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Congress—and in specific, the steustatiushistory.org of Representatives—is invested via the “power of the purse,” the capability to tax and also spfinish public money for the nationwide federal government. Massachusetts’ Elbridge Gerry said at the Federal Constitutional Convention that the Housage “was even more automatically the representatives of the human being, and it was a maxim that the world should organize the purse-strings.”


English steustatiushistory.org heavily affected the Constitutional framers. The British steustatiushistory.org of Commons has the exclusive right to develop taxes and also spend that revenue, which is considered the ultimate check on royal authority. Indeed, the American colonists’ cry of “No taxation without representation!” referred to the injustice of London imposing taxes on them without the benefit of a voice in Parliament.

Constitutional Framing

Debate at the Constitutional Convention focused on two problems. The initially wregarding encertain that the executive would certainly not spfinish money without congressional authorization. The second involved the roles the steustatiushistory.org and also Senate would certainly play in setting fiscal plan. At the Convention, the framers thought about the level to which the Senate—prefer the steustatiushistory.org of Lords—need to be limited in its consideration of budobtain bills. The provision was part of a compromise in between the big and also tiny says. Smaller claims, which would certainly be over-represented in the Senate, would concede the power to originate money bills to the Housage, wbelow says with larger populations would have actually higher control. Speaking in favor of the provision, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania shelp, “It was a maxim that those that feel, deserve to ideal judge. This end would . . . be ideal attained, if money affairs were to be confined to the immediate representatives of the people.” The provision in the committee’s report to the Convention was adopted, 5 to 3, via three claims split on the question. The Convention reconsidered the matter over the course of 2 months, but the provision was lastly embraced, nine to two, in September 1787.The constitutional provision making Congress the ultimate authority on federal government spfinishing passed through much much less dispute. The framers were unanimous that Congress, as the representatives of the human being, need to be in control of public funds—not the President or executive branch agencies. This strongly-hosted belief was rooted in the framers’ experiences with England, wright here the king had wide latitude over spfinishing as soon as the money had actually been raised.

The Early Appropriations Process

The First Congress (1789–1791) passed the initially appropriations act—a mere 13 lines long—a few months after it convened. The law funded the government, consisting of necessary pensions for Revolutionary War veterans, through just $639,000—an amount in the 10s of millions in actual terms. This straightforward process was short-lived. Over time, nine continuous appropriation bills emerged and funded such priorities as pensions, harbors, the short article office, and also the armed forces. These were thought about on an annual basis by the late 1850s. The steustatiushistory.org Committee on Ways and Means, which likewise had actually jurisdiction over taxes policy, controlled the appropriations procedure. But legislation and also resources were constantly retained separate. Concerns were spelled out in one law and also money appropriated for those priorities in one more. This has remained the exercise, as substantive committees architecture authorization acts and also the steustatiushistory.org and also Senate Appropriation Committees fund authorized programs later on. Certainly, tbelow are regulations and parliamentary rules versus making brand-new legislation in appropriation bills, although such rules are periodically waived.

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Subsequent Reforms

In 1865, after the Civil War had actually developed a almost $3 billion national debt and also spfinishing surpassed a billion dollars a year, Congress reformed its resources procedure to manage the government’s brand-new needs. The steustatiushistory.org separated the Ways and also Means Committee’s taxing and spending features. The Appropriations Committee was establimelted to money programs, while Ways and Means kept jurisdiction on tax policy. steustatiushistory.org management and also other committees also tried to influence the appropriations process, and also the absence of coordicountry over the years resulted in high deficits and the implementation of the federal earnings taxation in 1913. Congress passed the Spending Plan and Accounting Act in 1921 to attend to some of the coordination difficulties it confronted funding government programs. This legislation centralized many type of of the budgeting features with the President, that still has considerable agenda-setting power through the federal budacquire and submits a draft budacquire to Congress at the beginning of each year. The appropriations procedure has actually been reformed multiple times given that 1921, consisting of notable restructurings via the Congressional Budget Plan and Impoundment Control Act of 1974 and also the Gramm–Rudman–Hollings Acts of 1985 and 1987.

For Further Reading

Farrand also, Max, ed. The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787. Rev. ed. 4 vols. (New Haven and London: Yale College Press, 1937).Gararea, James. “National Appropriations and also Misappropriations,” North Amerihave the right to Review, 270: 572–586.Kiewiet, D. Roderick and Mathew D. McCubbins. The Logic of Delegation: Congressional Parties and the Appropriations Process. (Chicago: The College of Chicback Press, 1991).Kimmel, Lewis. Federal Spending Plan and also Fiscal Policy, 1789–1958. (Washington, D.C.: Broomonarchs Institution, 1959). Leloup, Lance. The Fiscal Congress. (Westport, CT: Greentimber, 1980).Schick, Allen. Congress and also Money: Budgeting, Spending and Taxing. (Washington, D.C.: The Urban Institute, 1980).—. The Federal Budget: Politics, Policy, Process. (Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution, 2000).Selko, Daniel. The Federal Financial System. (Washington, D.C.: Broomajesties Institution, 1940). Stewart, Charles H., III. Budget Plan Recreate Politics: The Design of the Appropriations Process in the steustatiushistory.org of Representatives, 1865–1921. (New York: Cambridge University Press, 1989).Wildavskies, Aaron B. Budgeting and Governing. (Piscatamethod, NJ: Transactivity Publishers, 2006). —. The New Politics of the Budgetary Process. fifth ed. (New York: Longman, 2003).