Discretionary spending funds a wide range of government programs
March 04, 2014
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Discretionary spending results from annual appropriations legislation. The programs in this category of federal spending, representing about 35 percent of the budget for 2013, are some of the most recognizable (other than individual benefit programs), and include national defense, veterans' assistance, the Congress, the White House, the Supreme Court, national parks, law enforcement, education, research and development, and investments in physical infrastructure. Defense takes up more than half of the total discretionary spending budget.

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