Humanities@Home: Congress's Power of the Purse and Why It Matters


Why does the federal government "shut down" when members of Congress fail to agree on new spending? Why is it becoming harder for Congress to pass routine spending bills? Why does Congress, rather than the President, hold authority over spending, and why does it matter? Professor Zachary Price will discuss Congress's "power of the purse," meaning its authority to control government spending and important background on these and other related topics.

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For 50 years, New Hampshire Humanities has been connecting people to culture, history, places, ideas, and one another. Each month, Humanities@Home will highlight a topic that NHH addressed during its history that still resonates today. 1980 marked the first modern government shutdown when Congress did not approve a budget. Then in 1987, we celebrated the bicentennial of the Constitution with “The Ninth State,” a program that looked at the language used in 1788 and how we interpreted it 200 years later. Today, we continue to grapple with how the language in our Constitution affects the day-to-day functions of the U.S. government.

About the speaker: Professor Zachary Price holds the Eucalyptus Foundation Endowed Chair at the University of California College of the Law, San Francisco (formerly UC Hastings). In Fall 2023, he was the Bruce Bromley Visiting Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. His scholarly work has appeared in numerous leading law reviews and his book Constitutional Symmetry: Judging in a Divided Republic is forthcoming with Cambridge University Press in 2024. Before entering academia, Professor Price clerked for three federal judges, including Associate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy of the U.S. Supreme Court, and worked for three years at the Office of Legal Counsel of the U.S. Justice Department.

Event Details


Friday, February 9, 2024 5:00pm



Concord NH 03301

Hosted By:

New Hampshire Humanities

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