Federal Grants to State and Local Governments: A Historical Perspective on Contemporary Issues

Source: Robert Jay Dilger, Congressional Research Service, CRS Report for Congress, R40638, March 5, 2015

….This report provides a historical synopsis of the evolving nature of the federal grants-in-aid system, focusing on the role Congress has played in defining the system’s scope and nature. It begins with an overview of the contemporary federal grants-in-aid system and then examines its evolution over time, focusing on the internal and external factors that have influenced congressional decisions concerning the system’s development. It concludes with an assessment of the scope and nature of the contemporary federal grants-in-aid system and raises several issues for congressional consideration, including possible ways to augment congressional capacity to provide effective oversight of this system….