Covering expenses


Article I, Section 8, of the U.S. Constitution gave Congress the power to raise revenue to “pay the Debts and provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States.” The first appropriations act passed by the new Congress was signed into law on September 29, 1789, and set a budget of $639,000 to cover the Federal Government’s expenses for that year.

National Archives, General Records of the U.S. Government