This term refers to the funding that is provided each year by the Congress
through the Appropriations process. Often people refer to this portion of
the budget as the part that lawmakers actually can control -- hence the
classification as discretionary. This portion of the budget is about one-third
of all federal spending. This is in contrast to other portions of the federal
budget which are sometimes referred to as "uncontrollables" (like
interest on the debt and entitlements) because the government is committed
to paying for them.