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The Power of the Purse

Our nation’s founders provided the American people with the ultimate tool to rein in the federal government including the executive branch by vesting the power of the purse with Congress. Article I, section 9, clause 7 of the U.S. Constitution states, “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.” [1]

Americans for Limited Government proposes that the following riders be included in Fiscal Year 2020 appropriations bills in both the House and the Senate to be put on the President’s desk, focusing on targeted approaches to limiting the size and scope of the federal government.

Why it Matters

The national debt, now $22 trillion, grew by almost $1.5 trillion in 2018 as spending in Washington, D.C. continues to outpace the growth of the economy and revenues. Since 1980, the U.S. national debt has grown an average of 8.8 percent every fiscal year, but during that same period, the U.S. economy has only averaged 5.4 percent growth economic nominally before adjusting for inflation. As a result, the debt is now 105 percent of the economy. And if those trends were to continue, the debt will top $100 trillion in 2037, and exceed 193 percent debt to GDP. [2]

Today, with an out of control administrative state, simply winning elections is not enough. It is up to Congress, starting with the House of Representatives, to take on the responsibility to choose which government initiatives large or small to fund and which not to fund, and what regulatory actions need to be stopped because they either have negative economic impacts or destroy individual freedom.


  1. Article I of the U.S. Constitution,
  2. National debt could top $100 trillion by 2037 if Congress ignores Trump budget, By Robert Romano, March 14, 2019,

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Appropriators should retain prohibition against federalized zoning September 12, 2019

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ALG urges Congress to end the Land and Water Conservation Fund August 26, 2019

ALG urges Congress to zero out funding for land acquisition by the U.S. Forest Service August 23, 2019

ALG urges Congress to stop NSF funding of social science research August 20, 2019

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Cut off federal funding to the Soros-funded Tides Network August 4, 2019

Congress should defund federal government from coordinating with Southern Poverty Law Center July 29, 2019

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What is the East-West Center and why are taxpayers giving it $16.7 million a year? July 23, 2019

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