The Senate Appropriations Committee is the largest committee in the U.S. Senate, consisting of 31 members in the 115th Congress. Established on March 6, 1867, its powers are rooted in Article 1, section 9 of our Constitution which states, “No money shall be drawn from the treasury, but in consequence of appropriations made by law.”
Senator Leahy is the Vice Chair of the Appropriations Committee and has been a member of the committee for more than forty years. As one of the four lead negotiators, Leahy fights for programs that support our most vulnerable citizens and our middle class, creates jobs, protects our environment, promotes our national security, supports our veterans, and ensures that Vermont’s priorities are reflected in the appropriations bills that allocate Federal funding to the numerous government agencies, departments and organizations on an annual basis.
The founders of our nation recognized the power of the purse as one of the most important tools Congress has to ensure our system of checks and balances, and to conduct oversight of the Executive and Judicial Branches. But it is much more than that. The Appropriations Committee is where we translate the priorities of a nation into the realities of the American people.