James Madison Papers

Appropriations, [10 January] 1794


[10 January 1794]

In the Committee of the Whole debate on the 1794 federal budget, Giles moved the separation of “the estimate of appropriations for the civil list, and for discharging the current expences of the government, from the articles”1 dealing with military appropriations. The point was to clear the way for appropriations to carry on the daily business of government.

Mr. Madison said, that members had been reduced to the most serious difficulties by delays in the payment of their salary. The civil list ought always to have a fund provided for it in the first place, because it was a mere matter of form to put it to a vote. It was otherwise with the military establishment. He trusted, that would never be reduced to a mere form.

Philadelphia Gazette, 14 Jan. 1794.

1Nicholas withdrew his second to Giles’s motion. The House passed resolutions that accomplished the intent of the motion—restricting “the bill making appropriations for the support of the Government” for 1794 to the civil list alone—while military appropriations were dealt with in a separate bill. In Committee of the Whole on 30 Jan., FitzSimons moved an amendment to authorize a loan to provide for the appropriations. JM “objected to connecting the two subjects. This, said he, involves a consideration of ways and means, and ought to be kept distinct from that of appropriations.” Clark argued that a loan was unnecessary since the bill provided only for the civil list. JM “concurred in the idea mentioned by the gentleman last up, and observed that the objects of appropriations, and ways and means are so distinct, that it has been thought proper, essentially to separate them in the constitution.” FitzSimons responded that the anticipation of revenue was distinct from ways and means. JM “asked whether this money by loan is not to be procured by the payment of an interest of 5 per cent, and whether a tax will not be necessary to pay that interest.” The House passed the bill on 24 Feb. and agreed to Senate amendments on 10 Mar. Washington signed it on 14 Mar. (Gazette of the U.S., 31 Jan. 1794; Annals of Congress description begins Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States … (42 vols.; Washington, 1834–56). description ends , 3d Cong., 1st sess., 462, 484; U.S. Statutes at Large description begins The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America … (17 vols.; Boston, 1848–73). description ends , 1:342–45).

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