Earmark Terms Glossary

Earmark Terms Glossary

Budget & Tax  | Research & Analysis
Jul 6, 2011  | 6 min read

Categories of Earmarks

  • Disclosed Lawmaker: Earmarks Earmarks that appear in the explanatory statement of an appropriations bill for which a member or members directly take credit as the sponsor(s)
  • Member Undisclosed: Provisions that meet the TCS definition of an earmark, but which are not diclosed as an earmark by a member of Congress and do not have a Presidential request
  • Total Member: Disclosed and Undisclosed This is the total of the above two values, which is what TCS uses as its earmark total
  • Pres Solo: Earmarks disclosed in an explanatory statement as a Presidential earmark, with no member of Congress also listed as a requester
  • President and Lawmakers: Earmarks disclosed in an explanatory statement as a Presidential earmark, but which also include a Congressional requester or requesters; it is very important to note that these provision are NOT included in the member's totals and are NOT inlcuded by TCS in our overall earmark value totals.  In theory, any amount above the President's request could be considered an earmark, and would therefore drive up the overall earmark totals, but the inconsistent disclosure of this information makes it too difficult to accurately reflect.
  • Pres Undisclosed: Provisions that meet the TCS definition of an earmark and were requested by the President, but were not included by Congress in the explanatory statement

Explanation of Column Headers in the “2010 Earmarks” Tab

  • House Amt.: The amount for this earmark that appears in the House-passed version of the legislation; a zero or blank indicates the earmark did not appear in the House bill
  • Senate Amt.?: The amount for this earmark that appears in the Senate-passed version of the legislation; a zero or blank indicates the earmark did not appear in the Senate bill
  • Final Amt.: The amount the earmark received in the conference-passed and President signed version of the appropations bill
  • Budget Request: The amount the Administration requested for this provision
  • Description: The description of the earmark as provided by Congress
  • City/Location: The city or location where either the project beneficiary is located (when that information is available) or the city or location that is included in the project description
  • State: The state where either the project beneficiary is located (when that information is available) or the state that is included in the project description
  • Bill: The bill in which this earmark appears
  • Bill Section: The section of the bill in which the earmark appears
  • Bill Subsection: Additional information that will help locate the earmark within the bill
  • Project Heading (Defense Bill Only): Additional information provided in the Defense bill
  • House Requesting Member(s): The name(s) of the House member that appears next to an earmark in the explanatory statement
  • House Party: The party of those House members
  • House State: The state of those House members
  • Senate Requesting Member(s): The name(s) of the Senator that appears next to an earmark in the explanatory statement
  • Senate Party: The party of those Senators
  • Senate State: The party of those Senators
  • Presidential Earmarks: Indicates when an earmark is considered Presidential; as explained above, this includes “President – Solo” earmarks and “President – with Membe(s)” earmarks
  • Undisclosed: Provisions that meet the TCS definition of an earmark, but which are not diclosed as an earmark by a member of Congress and do not have a Presidential request
  • Intended Recipient or Location: The entity to receive the funding from this earmark and where that entity is located; this information is drawn from two primary sources: either Congress has included the information along with the earmark disclosure in the explanatory statement or TCS has garnered this information from the earmark request letters required of Members when they ask for an earmark from the Appropations Committee
  • Notes: Amplifying information that TCS believes may be of value to users of this database
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Explanation of Headers in the Reps. and Senators Tabs

TCS computes three earmark numbers for each member of the House and Senate (note that TCS generally refers to the “Solo and With Other Members”–also referred to as “joint earmarks”–number as the member's total earmarks):

  • Solo Earmarks: The total of earmarks on which ONLY that member's name appears
  • Solo and With Other Members: The total of earmarks on which that member's name appears, either by itself or with other members.  TCS does not split an earmark between the separate members whose names appear next to it.  Each member whose name is on an earmark receives full credit for the earmark under this computation.
  • Solo and With Other Members and President: The total of earmarks on which that member's name appears; can be by itself, with other members, or on Presidential earmarks.  TCS does not split an earmark between the separate members whose names appear next to it.  Each member whose name is on an earmark receives full credit for the earmark under this computation.
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