Outlays are payments made (generally through the issuance of checks or disbursement of cash) to liquidate obligations. Outlays during a fiscal year may be for payment of obligations incurred in prior years or in the same year.
Outlays represent the amount of money actually disbursed by the Treasury. It is money that has been actually spent during the fiscal year. This is in contrast to budget authority which is the amount of obligations into which an agency has been authorized to enter.
Actual cash (or electronic transfer) payments made to the States or other entities. Outlays are provided as reimbursement for the Federal share for approved highway program activities.