We examined the House of Representative’s reinstitution of member-directed spending, more commonly known as “earmarks,” in a recent post. Earlier this month, the Senate Appropriations Committee released its own list of member requests. The Senate, like the House, has done an excellent job of increasing the transparency of the process, making detailed information on requests available to the public in a timely manner.
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.