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CRS — Entitlements and Appropriated Entitlements in the Federal Budget Process

December 5, 2012

Entitlements and Appropriated Entitlements in the Federal Budget Process (PDF)

Source: Congressional Research Service (via U.S. Department of State Foreign Press Center)

Entitlements are programs that require payments to persons, state or local governments, or other entities if specific eligibility criteria established in the authorizing law are met. Entitlement payments are legal obligations of the federal government, and eligible beneficiaries may have legal recourse if full payment under the law is not provided. This report provides a brief explanation of spending for entitlements, including so-called appropriated entitlements, and discusses the procedural and statutory constraints on legislation affecting such entitlement spending.

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