GAO: Reported Spending Authority, Permanent Appropriations Rose 88% From FY 1994-2015

The Government Accountability Office has found that federal agencies reported $3.2T in total spending authority and permanent appropriations for fiscal year 2015, reflecting an 88 percent rise from FY 1994.

GAO said in a report published Tuesday that such inflation-adjusted growth was primarily driven by the use of permanent appropriations authority, which supports federal entitlement initiatives such as Medicare and the Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance program.

The Social Security Administration and the departments of Health and Human Services and Treasury are the three agencies that comprised 75 percent of the total spending authority and permanent appropriations in FY 2015.

Offsetting collections reached a total of $421B in FY 2015, making it the second largest reported type of budget authority.

The report noted that the amount of spending authority and permanent appropriations that were not subjected to sequestration rose from 37 percent in FY 1994 to 57 percent in FY 2015.

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