Appropriations of Money for fitting out Vessels of War.
House of Representatives, February 25, 1797.
Mr. GALLATIN conceived the power of granting money to be vested solely in the legislature, and though, according to the opinion of some gentlemen, (though not in his,) the President and Senate could so bind the nation as to oblige the legislature to appropriate money to carry a treaty into effect, yet, in all other cases, he did not suppose there had been any doubt with respect to the powers of the legislature in this respect.
March 2, 1797.
Mr. NICHOLAS. The power of this house to control appropriations has been settled. It was indeed an absurdity to call a body a legislature, and at the same time deny them control over the public purse. If it were not so, where would be the use of going through the forms of that house with a money bill? The executive might as well draw upon the treasury at once for whatever sums he might stand in need of. A doctrine like this would be scouted even in despotic countries.