Appropriations lie at the core of the administrative state and are be­com­ing increasingly important as deep partisan divides have stymied sub­stan­tive legislation. Both Congress and the President exploit appropria­tions to control government and advance their policy agendas, with the border wall battle being just one of several recent high-profile examples. Yet in public law doctrine, appropriations are ignored, pulled out for spe­cial legal treatment, or subjected to legal frameworks ill-suited for appro­priations realities. This Article documents how appropriations are mar­ginalized in a variety of public law contexts and assesses the reasons for this unjustified treatment. Appro­priations’ doctrinal marginalization does not affect the political branches equally, but instead enhances executive branch and presidential power over appropriations at the expense of Congress. Yet legal doctrines governing ap­propriations should have the opposite effect because constitutional text, struc­ture, and history make clear the central importance of Congress’s appropria­tions power. Appro­priations’ doctrinal marginalization undermines the sep­aration of powers even further by undercutting political accountability through Congress and creating de facto presidential spending authority, with the executive branch able to violate governing statutes on appropriations with minimal legal consequences. This Article then turns to the question of what taking appropriations seriously might mean for public law doctrine. It concludes that appropriations exceptionalism is not problematic if it reflects the re­alities of the appropriations process and does not downplay appropria­tions’ significance. Doctrines should attend to the separation of powers dynam­ics raised by appropriations and reinforce Congress’s power of the purse. Among other consequences, this leads to jurisdictional doctrines that put primacy on congressional enforcement of appropriations limits in court.


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Appropriations lie at the core of the administrative state. Without appropriations, the executive branch cannot act, and thus choices about agency funding have a fundamental impact on how the government operates. Long recognized as important, appropriations’ centrality to government is even more true today. Deepening partisan di­vides, competitive politics, and divided government have stymied sub­stan­tive legislation in Congress and caused greater exploitation of must-pass funding measures to advance political agendas. Policy battles between Congress and the President increasingly are fought on the terrain of the budget, leading to longer and more frequent government shutdowns, ongoing contestation over the use of appropriated funds, unfulfilled statutory promises, and little long-term policy resolution. Rather than amending or repealing substantive authorizations, Congress resorts to appropriations riders and funding denials as its tools of choice to control government policy. 1 See infra section I.B.1. The President, in turn, creatively interprets appropri­ations statutes, imposes new grant conditions, repurposes and withholds funds, and invokes inadequate funding as a basis for broad assertions of presidential discretion. 2 See infra section I.B.2. Meanwhile, dedicated funding streams and agency-generated funds are used to protect new regulatory initiatives against both congressional and presidential appropriations control. 3 See infra text accompanying notes 104, 121–122.

A high-profile example of appropriations’ importance was the battle between President Trump and the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives over money to build a wall at the country’s southern bor­der that marked the second half of Trump’s term in office. Disagreements over the border wall led to a record-setting thirty-five-day partial govern­ment shutdown from December 2018 to January 2019. 4 See Glenn Thrush, In a Divided Washington, Congress Averted a Shutdown—But at a Price, N.Y. Times (Feb. 15, 2019), https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/15/us/politics/border-wall-deal.html (on file with the Columbia Law Review). Immediately after signing an appropriations bill that included far less money for building a wall than he had sought, President Trump declared a national emergency and stated that his administration would transfer billions of dollars appro­priated for other purposes to wall construction—sparking Democratic outrage and multiple lawsuits. 5 See infra text accompanying notes 113–118. A California district court quickly granted a preliminary injunction that the Supreme Court ultimately stayed. 6 Trump v. Sierra Club, 140 S. Ct. 1 (2019) (mem.). In June 2020, the Ninth Circuit upheld the district court’s subsequent permanent injunction, and the case is currently before the Supreme Court. 7 See California v. Trump, 963 F.3d 926, 932 (9th Cir. 2020), cert. granted sub nom. Trump v. Sierra Club, 141 S. Ct. 618 (2020); Sierra Club v. Trump, 963 F.3d 874, 880 (9th Cir. 2020), cert. granted, 141 S. Ct. 618 (2020). The Court had scheduled Sierra Club for oral argument in February but removed the case from its calendar in response to a request from the Biden Administration, which is reviewing the border wall transfers. See Motion of the Petitioners to Hold the Briefing Schedule in Abeyance and to Remove the Case from the February 2021 Argument Calendar at 1–2, Biden v. Sierra Club, No. 20-138 (U.S. Feb. 3, 2021); Amy Howe, Justices Take Immigration Cases Off February Calendar, SCOTUSBlog (Feb. 3, 2021), https://www.scotusblog.com/2021/02/justices-take-immigration-cases-off-february-calendar [https://perma.cc/M8B5-W36F]. For further discussion of this case, see infra text accompanying notes 114–117, 246–255, and section IV.C. The Ninth Circuit also invalidated a separate transfer of funds for the border wall in Sierra Club v. Trump, 977 F.3d 853, 861 (9th Cir. 2020), petition for cert. filed, No. 20-685 (U.S. Nov. 17, 2020). Meanwhile, the D.C. Circuit recently held that the House of Representatives has standing to challenge the fund transfer as violating the Appropriations Clause. 8 U.S. House of Representatives v. Mnuchin, 976 F.3d 1, 13 (D.C. Cir. 2020).

President Trump is hardly alone in his creative use of appropriations to push his policy priorities. Consider President Obama’s efforts to fund key cost-sharing components of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), his signature political achievement. After no annual appropriation was enacted to cover the cost-sharing obligations the ACA imposes on insurers, the Obama Administration sought to use a permanent appropriation instead, an effort that was enjoined as a result of a lawsuit brought by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. 9 See U.S. House of Representatives v. Burwell, 185 F. Supp. 3d 165, 168 (D.D.C. 2016), vacated in part sub nom. U.S. House of Representatives v. Azar, No. 14-1967 (RMC), 2018 WL 8576647 (D.D.C. May 18, 2018). Congress also adopted an appropriations rider preventing the use of annual appropriations to fund the ACA’s risk-sharing program, leading insurers to file suit in the Court of Federal Claims. In Maine Community Health Options v. United States, the Supreme Court held that the government was liable for the unpaid risk corridor payments, which amounted to around $12 billion. 10 140 S. Ct. 1308, 1315, 1318 (2020).

Yet another recent instance of appropriations dominating the nation­al political landscape involved the Trump Administration’s withholding of military aid for Ukraine. It was this action that sparked President Trump’s first impeachment; the House of Representatives determined that the withholding was part of an effort by Trump to encourage a foreign government’s interference in the U.S. presidential election by pressuring Ukraine to investigate his presidential rival, now-President Joe Biden. 11 Nicholas Fandos & Michael D. Shear, Trump Impeached for Abuse of Power and Obstruction of Congress, N.Y. Times (Dec. 18, 2019), https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/‌18/us/politics/trump-impeached.html (on file with the Columbia Law Review) (last updated Feb. 10, 2021). Also in the news in 2020 was the Trump Administration’s withholding of appropriated funds from Puerto Rico, Native American tribes, and the World Health Organization, as well as President Trump’s threat to deny funds to states expanding absentee voting. 12 Berkeley Lovelace Jr. & Noah Higgins-Dunn, Trump Halts U.S. Funding for World Health Organization as It Conducts Coronavirus Review, CNBC (Apr. 14, 2020), https://‌www.cnbc.com/2020/04/14/trump-calls-for-halt-to-us-funding-for-world-health-organization-amid-coronavirus-outbreak.html [https://perma.cc/4KHT-JQDD]; Brett Neely, Trump Repeats Unfounded Claims About Mail-In Voting, Threatens Funding to 2 States, NPR (May 20, 2020), https://www.npr.org/2020/05/20/859333693/trump-repeats-unfounded-claims-about-mail-in-voting-threatens-funding-to-some-st [https://perma.cc/9DLZ-MDBU]; Mark Walker & Emily Cochrane, Native American Tribes Sue Treasury over Stimulus Aid as They Feud over Funding, N.Y. Times (May 1, 2020), https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/01/‌us/politics/coronavirus-native-american-tribes-treasury-stimulus.html (on file with the Columbia Law Review); Justin Wise, Trump Administration Ending Delay for over $8 billion in Puerto Rico Disaster Aid, Hill (Jan. 15, 2020), https://thehill.com/homenews/‌administration/478332-trump-admin-ending-delay-for-over-8-billion-in-puerto-rico-disaster [https://perma.cc/5VPB-7PPV]. Trump additionally directed high-level officials in his administration to identify a list of “anarchist jurisdictions” that would be ineligible to receive discretionary federal funds, promised $200 drug-discount cards to seniors, and threatened to deny funds to schools that did not reopen in the fall of 2020. 13 See Memorandum on Reviewing Funding to State and Local Government Recipients that are Permitting Anarchy, Violence, and Destruction in American Cities, 2020 Daily Comp. Pres. Doc. § 3 (Sept. 2, 2020); Peter Baker, Erica L. Green & Noah Weiland, Trump Threatens to Cut Funding if Schools Do Not Fully Reopen, N.Y. Times (July 8, 2020), https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/08/us/politics/trump-schools-reopening.html (on file with the Columbia Law Review) (last updated July 24, 2020); Margot Sanger-Katz & Noah Weiland, Trump Promised Seniors Drug Discount Cards. They May Be Illegal., N.Y. Times (Oct. 22, 2020), https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/22/us/politics/trump-prescription-drugs.html (on file with the Columbia Law Review). Meanwhile any doubt about the policy and separation of powers significance of appropriations should be erased by the COVID-19 pandemic. Massive appropriations lie at the heart of the federal government’s response, with partisan fights over new funding and interbranch battles over oversight and allocation of the funds. 14 See Charlie Savage & Peter Baker, Trump Ousts Pandemic Spending Watchdog Known for Independence, N.Y. Times (Apr. 7, 2020), https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/07/us/politics/trump-coronavirus-watchdog-glenn-fine.html (on file with the Columbia Law Review).

Of particular note, these recent appropriations disputes are often taking a legal as well as political guise. Federal courts are seeing a broad array of litigation involving appropriations and funding, including not just the border wall and ACA-related lawsuits but also states’ challenges to the Trump Administration’s efforts to deny funds to sanctuary jurisdictions, 15 E.g., City & County of San Francisco v. Barr, 965 F.3d 753 (9th Cir. 2020), cert. dismissed per stipulation sub nom. Wilkinson v. City & County of San Francisco, No. 20-666, 2021 WL 1081230 (mem.) (U.S. Mar. 4, 2021). criminal defendants’ challenges to prosecution for marijuana offenses in violation of an appropriations rider, 16 E.g., United States v. McIntosh, 833 F.3d 1163 (9th Cir. 2016). and challenges involving the government’s failure to meet statutory obligations due to inadequate fund­ing. 17 E.g., In re Aiken County, 725 F.3d 255 (D.C. Cir. 2013). This increasing legal dimension is a relatively new phenomenon. To be sure, prior political clashes over spending have sometimes resulted in litigation, but the number of high-profile cases today in which courts are grappling with appropriations matters is unusual. 18 The numerous lawsuits triggered by President Nixon’s impoundments serve as an earlier example of a burst of appropriations-related litigation. See generally Ralph S. Abascal & John R. Kramer, Presidential Impoundment Part II: Judicial and Legislative Responses, 63 Geo. L.J. 149 (1974) (describing impoundment cases).

This increase in appropriations lawsuits is part of a broader trend in which courts are stepping into political battles in our polarized age, result­ing in a marked expansion in separation of powers–infused litigation. 19 See Trump v. Mazars, 140 S. Ct. 2019, 2031 (2020); Gillian E. Metzger, The Roberts Court and Administrative Law, 2019 Sup. Ct. Rev. 1, 2. Yet legal challenges to appropriations actions raise unique problems and concerns for two reasons. The first is that, despite their centrality to government operations, appropriations are marginalized in public law doctrine. The second is that the resultant rules courts apply to appropria­tions disputes serve to enhance executive branch and presidential power over appropriations at the expense of Congress.

The marginalization of appropriations in public law doctrine takes several forms. Many public law doctrines apply appropriations excep­tionalism, pulling appropriations out from governing legal frameworks and employing sometimes arcane appropriations-specific rules. Others en­gage in appropriations silence, either ignoring appropriations altogether or simply assimilating appropriations to existing frameworks without acknowledging that those frameworks ill-fit appropriations realities. And often marginalization takes the form of jurisdictional exclusion of appro­priations disputes, whether as the result of appropriation-specific jurisdic­tional rules or application of existing jurisdictional requirements that appropriations disputes cannot easily satisfy.

For instance, constitutional jurisprudence on congressional delega­tion rarely engages with the implications of appropriations, and the same is true of separation of powers cases more broadly. 20 See infra sections II.A.1, II.A.3. Expand from separation of powers to cases involving the spending of government funds and this exclusion might seem less severe. Courts regularly consider constitutional limits on government funds in individual rights and federalism contexts. 21 See, e.g., Nat’l Fed’n of Indep. Bus. v. Sebelius (NFIB), 567 U.S. 519, 575–86 (2012) (holding that Congress could not withhold existing funds from states that declined to expand Medicaid eligibility under the ACA). Yet even here, special rules often govern when government funds are involved. As just one example, the Supreme Court has indicated that the involvement of government funds may pull agency action outside of otherwise applicable structural constitutional constraints, such as Article III or the commandeering doctrine. 22 See New York v. United States, 505 U.S. 144, 161, 167–68 (1992); infra section II.B.2.

The marginalization of appropriations is even clearer in administra­tive law and statutory interpretation. Appropriations actions are often exempt from standard procedural requirements, and barriers to judicial review of appropriations decisions are common. 23 See infra section II.B. Even the personnel and offices involved in appropriations and budget matters differ from the admin­istrative law norm. Within the executive branch, budget and account­ing offices rather than substantive program divisions are the appro­priations frontline, and appropriations also involve different central­ized executive branch overseers. 24 See Christopher J. Walker, Federal Agencies in the Legislative Process: Technical Assistance in Statutory Drafting: Final Report to the Administrative Conference of the United States 10, 14–16, 30–31, 37–38 (2015), https://www.acus.gov/sites/default/files/‌documents/technical-assistance-final-report.pdf [https://perma.cc/CKM2-3L9E] (conclud­ing that agency budget offices “often provide technical drafting assistance on legislation that directly affects those agencies”); Eloise Pasachoff, The President’s Budget as a Source of Agency Policy Control, 125 Yale L.J. 2182, 2199–201 (2016) [hereinafter Pasachoff, The President’s Budget] (describing resource management offices in OMB as centralized budget overseers). A number of other less familiar entities play starring roles as well, such as the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), and the Court of Federal Claims. When appropriations questions do surface in court, it is often in a statutory interpretation guise, resulting in a number of appropriations-specific doctrines that minimize the impact of appropriations measures on substantive law. 25 See infra section II.C.

Appropriations’ marginalization in doctrine does not necessarily en­tail marginalization in practice. Sometimes doctrinal marginalization actually serves to make appropriations a more potent tool for the political branches by freeing appropriations from legally enforceable constraints. 26 See infra section II.E. Indeed, appropriations play a much more starring role in nondoctrinal public law. A well-established statutory and regulatory framework—replete with a substantial body of guidance, internal executive and legislative branch decisions, and longstanding norms—governs agency budgeting and spending. This framework is primarily enforced by legislative and executive branch entities, making only rare appearances in court. Yet even this political branch public law of appropriations is increasingly marginal­ized, with appropriations norms and practices being undermined by par­tisan disagreements and policy disputes between the legislative and executive branches. 27 See infra section II.E.

Importantly, moreover, appropriations’ doctrinal marginalization does not affect the political branches equally. Especially combined with the erosion of appropriations norms and practices that reinforce congres­sional control, such doctrinal marginalization redounds to the executive branch’s benefit. This is especially true of doctrines that exclude appropri­ations challenges from the jurisdiction of the federal courts. The cumula­tive effect is the creation of a de facto presidential spending authority and a corresponding weakening of congressional control of the purse.

Appropriations have long received substantial attention from political scientists and congressional scholars, who have examined among other things the political dynamics of the appropriations process and how Presidents wield influence over federal spending. 28 See, e.g., Richard F. Fenno, Jr., The Power of the Purse: Appropriations Politics in Congress, at xiii (1966) (providing an “empirical description of the contemporary appro­priations process”); John Hudak, Presidential Pork: White House Influence over the Distribution of Federal Grants 3 (2014) (discussing whether and how presidents engage in “pork barrel politics”); D. Roderick Kiewet & Mathew D. McCubbins, The Logic of Delegation: Congressional Parties and the Appropriations Process 3–4 (1991) (analyzing “key issues involving congressional parties and the delegation of policy-making authority in the context of the annual appropriations process”). But the marginalization of appropriations also exists in public law scholarship, which has largely ignored issues of agency funding. 29 See, e.g., Pasachoff, The President’s Budget, supra note 24, at 2186 (“The budget itself . . . is a key tool for controlling agencies. Yet the mechanisms of control through the executive budget process remain little discussed and insufficiently understood.”). This blindness to appropriations is beginning to change, with a growing body of scholarship documenting the importance of appropriations to the administrative state. This work has opened a window on appropriations, offering rich accounts of how Congress, 30 See, e.g., Jack M. Beermann, Congressional Administration, 43 San Diego L. Rev. 61, 84–90 (2006) (describing how “Congress has supervised agencies with great particular­ity . . . through the appropriations process”); Matthew B. Lawrence, Disappropriation, 120 Colum. L. Rev. 1, 26–44 (2020) [hereinafter Lawrence, Disappropriation] (discussing examples of how Congress has increasingly failed to fund mandatory obligations). the President, 31 See, e.g., Pasachoff, The President’s Budget, supra note 24, at 2207­–08; Note, Independence, Congressional Weakness, and the Importance of Appointment: The Impact of Combining Budgetary Autonomy with Removal Protection, 125 Harv. L. Rev. 1822, 1827–29 (2012) (describing methods of presidential control over policy through appropriations). and agencies 32 See, e.g., Christopher C. DeMuth, Sr. & Michael S. Greve, Agency Finance in the Age of Executive Government, 24 Geo. Mason L. Rev. 555, 583–87 (2017) (discussing the consequences of agency self-funding); Mila Sohoni, On Dollars and Deference: Agencies, Spending, and Economic Rights, 66 Duke L.J. 1677, 1701–05 (2017) (describing how agencies use spending to advance policy goals). use funding measures to advance their policy priorities. Scholars are also developing nuanced analyses of how appropriations fit into the constitutional separation of powers framework, 33 See, e.g., Zachary S. Price, Funding Restrictions and Separation of Powers, 71 Vand. L. Rev. 357, 361 (2018) (theorizing the extent of the President’s independent spending authority). a subject that has received little sustained engage­ment since the 1980s in the aftermath of Iran–Contra. 34 See J. Gregory Sidak, The President’s Power of the Purse, 1989 Duke L.J. 1162, 1183–202 (arguing that the Constitution grants the President power to spend the minimum necessary to perform constitutional functions); Kate Stith, Congress’s Power of the Purse, 97 Yale L.J. 1343, 1381–86 (1988) (articulating constitutional limits on congressional and presidential spending authority). Louis Fisher is an exception here. See generally Louis Fisher, Presidential Fiscal Accountability Following the Budget Act of 1974, 67 Me. L. Rev. 286, 302–09 (2015) (describing spending disputes from the 1990s to the early 2010s). Still, the margin­alization of appropriations in public law doctrine has gone mostly unremarked, and a comprehensive analysis of how courts do and should approach appropriations remains lacking.

This Article aims to provide that analysis and explore the implications of taking appropriations seriously in public law doctrine. The disconnect between the lived appropriations-centric reality of administrative govern­ance and the appropriations-excluded doctrinal rubrics of public law raises several questions: What explains the marginalization of appropria­tions in public law doctrine? Is this marginalization constitutionally justified? And what would happen if we rethink public law by putting government funding at the core of the doctrinal analysis rather than pushing it to the periphery?

Appropriations marginalization has several sources. One is the courts’ traditional reluctance to impose financial penalties or funding obligations on governments, which is connected to a belief that resource allocations are core policy and sovereign determinations that belong in the political branches. Put differently, the marginalization of appropriations in public law doctrine is closely linked to the centrality of appropriations in the political arena. At the same time, however, the doctrinal marginalization of appropriations also embodies normative judgments made by courts about how Congress should operate. In particular, a central basis is judicial prioritization of substantive legislative enactments over appropriations and skepticism of appropriations as a policymaking tool.

These rationales fail to justify the current doctrinal marginalization of appropriations. For starters, this marginalization creates a disconnect between contemporary governance reality and governing legal frame­works. More importantly, the downplaying of appropriations and corre­sponding elevation of substantive legislative enactments is at odds with the Constitution. Constitutional text, structure, and history make clear the central importance of Congress’s appropriations power. Legal doctrines governing appropriations therefore should seek to empower congres­sional control of appropriations. Yet as noted above, doctrines that marginalize appropriations often have the opposite effect. They also serve to undercut political accountability through Congress, because appropri­ations are one of the most available means by which Congress can shape policy today. The doctrinal marginalization of appropriations additionally threatens the rule of law by freeing government from legally enforceable checks with respect to appropriations. And appropriations’ doctrinal marginalization undermines the separation of powers even further by creating de facto presidential spending authority, enabling the executive branch to violate governing statutes on appropriations without legal consequences.

This is not to deny that increased judicial involvement in appropriations carries separation of powers risks of its own. The concern that bringing appropriations into the public law mainstream will expand judicial power at the political branches’ expense is real and legitimate. But this fear must be balanced against the very serious separation of powers harms caused by appropriations’ exclusion in our current polarized era. The erosion of longstanding norms and practices in the wake of polarization means that political branch public law is increasingly unable to enforce congressional control over appropriations on its own. Moreover, courts are being dragged into appropriations disputes already, suggesting that the issue is not one of whether courts should play a role in such matters but rather what rules should govern the role they play.

That leaves the question of what taking appropriations seriously might mean for public law doctrine. Here it is helpful to differentiate among the different forms that appropriations’ doctrinal marginalization takes. Appro­priations silence is the most difficult to justify; at a minimum, taking appropriations seriously should mean that courts engage expressly with the import of appropriations and incorporate appropriations into their analysis. But rules that pull appropriations out for special treatment are not necessarily problematic, provided such appropriations exceptionalism reflects the realities of the appropriations process and is not an effort to downplay appropriations. Indeed, appropriations-specific rules can pro­vide an important means of balancing different imperatives, such as enforcing congressionally imposed limits while also preserving needed budget flexibility. Taking appropriations seriously also entails paying special attention to the separation of powers dynamics raised by appropri­ations, with interpretive doctrines structured so as to reinforce Congress’s power of the purse over the executive branch. It further requires including assessment of appropriations measures in separation of powers analysis. More radically yet, taking appropriations seriously—and also acknowledg­ing the risks posed by expanding the judicial role in appropriations disputes—suggests rethinking jurisdictional doctrines to put primacy on congressional enforcement of appropriations limits in court.

In what follows, Part I begins by outlining the traditional frameworks and institutional arrangements that govern appropriations. It then describes appropriations’ current centrality to administrative government and contemporary separation of powers disputes. Part II turns to docu­menting how, despite this importance, appropriations are marginalized in public law. It begins by identifying the different analytic mechanisms by which this sidelining of appropriations occurs and then looks in detail at how these mechanisms surface in constitutional and administrative law, statutory interpretation, and political branch public law. Part III takes a step back to assess appropriations marginalization in public law, first iden­tifying the rationales on which such marginalization rests and then argu­ing that these rationales fail to justify the sidelining of appropriations. It contends that the current marginalization is at odds with the constitutional importance of Congress’s appropriations power and undermines political accountability, the rule of law, and the separation of powers. Part IV turns to the reconstructive project, exploring what taking appropriations seriously might mean in practice and examining the implications of such a new approach to appropriations for the border wall funding dispute.

A note on terminology is warranted. This Article uses the term “appropriations” expansively, including under its embrace not simply leg­islation allocating budget authority to different government functions—the traditional definition of appropriations—but also administrative actions implementing those allocations and making expenditures that more often are classified as involving government spending. Both appro­priations and spending involve provision of government funds and are manifestations of the same congressional power of the purse. But spending is the term generally applied to grants of funds outside of the federal government, especially to state and local governments or private actors, whereas appropriations is used to refer to funding the federal government. The term appropriations is thus particularly tied to the separation of powers issues that dominate the analysis here. However, spending disputes often carry separation of powers dimensions, especially today, and thus merit inclusion in the discussion as well. 35 One could expand the lens even further to include other closely associated forms of government action, such as government contracting or revenue-raising activities. Indeed, government contracting and revenue-raising are in many ways similarly marginalized in ex­ist­ing public law doctrine. See Jody Freeman & Martha Minow, Reframing the Outsourcing Debate, in Government by Contract: Outsourcing and American Democracy 1, 4–5 (Jody Freeman & Martha Minow eds., 2009) (describing concerns that private con­tractors fall outside of existing government accountability regimes); Lawrence Zelenak, Maybe Just a Little Bit Special, After All?, 63 Duke L.J. 1897, 1898–900 (2014) (describing tax exception­alism). Yet each of these modes of government functioning has distinct features not present in the case of appropriations and spending—in the case of government contracting, the frequent transfer of government power to private hands; in the case of revenue-raising, the governmental power to obtain an exaction from private actors. Intragovernmental contract­ing may come closest—and, like appropriations, it is an area governed by arcane legal requirements overwhelmingly enforced by the political branches. See Eloise Pasachoff, Federal Grant Rules and Realities in the Intergovernmental Administrative State: Compliance, Performance, and Politics, 37 Yale J. on Regul. 573, 577, 582–92 (2020); see also Bridget A. Fahey, Federalism by Contract, 129 Yale L.J. 2326, 2329 (2020) (emphasizing the “thousands of written agreements that facilitate shared governance among levels of government”). On the other hand, substantial overlap exists between intragovernmental contracting and federal spending programs in practice, as federal grants are frequently implemented through intragovernmental contracts. Fahey, supra, at 2339–43. In any event, the limited inclusion of spending within the appropriations umbrella here is not meant to preclude the possibility that other federal government fiscal activities could also be profitably linked.