The United States government allocates an ever increasing amount of
money to government grants every year. In constant 2000 dollars,
total us grant funding increased from $172.1 billion in 1990 to over
$363.0 billion in 2003. This represents an average increase of grant
funding of 5.9 percent per year.
Grant funding from the United States Federal government has a long
history, beginning with the
Morrill Act of 1862, which established land grant colleges and
standards for States receiving
Over the decades, increasing amounts of federal financial aid
was made available to a number of sectors, including public health,
agriculture, and highways.
It was during and shortly after the Depression that the U S
government extended its financing to
cover a variety of social welfare and income security needs.
However, it was after World War II
that the Federal government's grant programs became a significant
part of government expenditures.
In the past several decades, U S Federal government grant spending
has exploded, and continues to represent an increasing amount of
dollars allocated in the budget even in recent years. By 1970,
massive increases in spending were witnessed in areas including
education, employment, social
services, training, and health. At this time, health grants were
largely in the form of Medicaid
payments. During the 1970s, new U S grants were directed at the
environment, largely in the form
of sewage plant construction, natural resources, and regional
Steady growth in us grant funding has continued since the 1970s.
Major funding increases include
health (and Medicaid), and income security. Recently, functions with
the most government grant
funding include health, income security, employment, education,
training, transportation and
social services. These functions combined represented more than 90%
($352.9 billion) of us
government grant funding in 2003.
US government grant funding falls into two categories. Grant
programs can be classified as
mandatory or discretionary.
Grants that fall into the classification mandatory are those
authorized through legislation passed
by the Federal government. Funding levels for mandatory grant
programs can be changed only by
adjusting benefit formulas that are established by law or
eligibility requirements. Mandatory
grant programs accounted for $222.2 billion in 2003. The three
biggest mandatory grant programs
operated by the US federal government are Medicaid ($160.8 billion
in 2003), the Temporary
Assistance for Needy Families program ($19.4 billion in 2003), and
Child Nutrition Programs ($10.7
billion dollars in 2003).
The funding allocated by the US government for discretionary grant
programs is determined
annually. In 2003, discretionary grant funding totaled $165.1
billion. The US government
typically targets discretionary grant funding at different
initiatives important at that time. An
example of an increase in discretionary funding in recent years is
that allocated through the
Department of National Defense to various programs designed to
assist in the area of homeland
The US government grant process is a highly complex web of spending
allocations at the Federal,
State, and local levels of government. Understanding this web can be
confusing for the average
individual, which is why the Able Government Grant Resource has been
Get help today finding the u s government grant that can help meet
your needs and goals.
about the Able Grants Guide.
Able Government Grants
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