House earmarks requests: Why, what, and who? | AEIdeas Blog

by | Aug 5, 2021 | AEI Ideas | 1 comment


This year, after a 10-year moratorium, the majority leadership in the House of Representatives reinstituted the ability of members to submit federal funding requests for projects in their districts. More commonly known as “earmarks,” requests for local, regional, or state funding have existed since the first Congress.

They have returned, along with some major modifications that have increased transparency and placed limits on spending. Now called “Community Project Funding” by the Appropriations Committee, and “Member Designated Projects” in the Transportation Committee, 345 congressmembers submitted 5,402 requests for a combined $22 billion in funding for FY2022.

The Appropriations and Transportation committees have released their approved project requests, but there is still a long way to go to see how (or whether) they will be integrated into a final conference bill signed by the president.

The House has done a solid job of increasing the transparency of the process and making detailed information on requests available to the public in a timely manner. This helped us to provide readers with the why, what, and who of House action so far.

Zachary Courser is a visiting assistant professor of government at Claremont McKenna College. Kevin Kosar is a senior fellow at AEI.

House earmarks requests: Why, what, and who? | AEIdeas Blog