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Borrowing authority is a type of budget authority that permits an agency to incur obligations and make payments for specified purposes from the proceeds of borrowed funds. It may be definite or indefinite in nature. Borrowing authority may be one of the following types:

Authority to borrow from the public—Authority to sell agency debt securities to the public or to other federal agencies. Usually, the law authorizes borrowing from the Department of the Treasury (Treasury), but in a few cases, it authorizes borrowing directly from the public. Laws usually authorize borrowing for business-like operations, such as the Tennessee Valley Authority, which generates and sells electrical power. Such laws require the program to repay the borrowing, with interest, out of business proceeds.

Authority to borrow from Treasury—Authority to borrow funds derived from the sale of Treasury securities.

Authority to borrow from the Federal Financing Bank (FFB)—Authority to borrow from FFB rather than borrowing from Treasury or issuing securities to the public.