Congressional Appropriations Process: An Introduction [Updated December 12, 2006] [open pdf - 176KB]
From the Summary: "Congress annually considers 11 or more appropriations measures, which provide funding for numerous activities, for example, national defense, education, homeland security, and crime. These measures also fund general government operations such as the administration of federal agencies. Congress has developed certain rules and practices for the consideration of appropriations measures, referred to as the congressional appropriations process. Congress has also established an authorization-appropriation process which provides for two separate types of measures - authorization measures and appropriation measures. These measures perform different functions and are to be considered in sequence. First, the authorization measure is considered and then the appropriation measure. Authorization measures are under the jurisdiction of the legislative committees; most congressional committees are legislative committees, such as the House Committee on Armed Services and the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. This process is enforced, in part, by House and Senate parliamentary rules."
CRS Report for Congress, 97-684