Infographic: Breakdown of federal discretionary spending


Discretionary spending was set at $1.3 trillion last year, accounting for 37% of the total federal budget. Defense spending accounted for over half of the discretionary budget. 

Defense discretionary spending: $699 billion or 52%

  • Operation & maintenance: $290 billion
  • Military personnel: $157 billion
  • Procurement: $128 billion
  • Research, development, test & evaluation: $75 billion
  • Other (i.e. military construction, family housing): $50 billion
Non-defense discretionary spending: $647 billion or 48%
  • Education, training, employment & social services: $116 billion
  • Transportation: $91 billion
  • Income security: $71 billion
  • Health: $63 billion
  • Veterans’ benefits & services: $57 billion
  • Administration of justice: $54 billion
  • International Affairs: $48 billion
  • Other (i.e. energy, science & technology R&D, agriculture, etc.): $147 billion

Infographic on the 2011 discretionary budget. SOURCE: Congressional Budget Office

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