Earmarks & AppropriationsEarmarks & Appropriations

Congressional earmarks are one of the best examples of how Congress’ appetite for parochial spending led the nation into our current budgetary hole. Too often, lawmakers have based federal spending decisions on the needs of narrow private interests, rather than appropriating funds...More

only for effective, efficient programs that deliver taxpayers the greatest value. Though technically banned, earmark spending still exists in different forms, and is just one of many ways Congress sidesteps responsible budgeting and spending.

Although Congress is responsible for our nation’s finances, it continues to fail in its national budgeting, as evidenced by a national debt larger than our entire economy. The way forward lies in the legislative and executive branches working together to establish clear and transparent criteria and metrics for spending. They must ensure that all spending decisions are based on merit, competition, or well-designed and effective formulas.

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Our Take

“Buy America” Provisions: The New Form of Backdoor Earmarking

July 18, 2017

“Buy America” Provisions: The New Form of Backdoor Earmarking Have you heard? The President has declared this “Buy American” week. You know what week we would like to see? “Protect Taxpayers” week.... Read More

Letters & Testimony

Letter to House: Reject Effort to End Earmark Moratorium

November 16, 2016

Letter to House: Reject Effort to End Earmark Moratorium Earlier today, TCS sent the following letter to the House of Representatives arguing against a motion to end the moratorium on Congressional... Read More

Our Take

Showers of Cash for Pentagon Contractors

May 19, 2016

Showers of Cash for Pentagon Contractors Granted, we’re writing this on the East Coast where the weather has been particularly wretched this Spring. We’re getting tired of all this... Read More

Letters & Testimony

Coalition Letter to Support Reform for Miscellaneous Tariff Bills

April 14, 2016

Coalition Letter to Support Reform for Miscellaneous Tariff Bills On Thursday, Taxpayers for Common Sense and nine other groups sent a letter to Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX), Chairman of the House Ways and Means... Read More

Our Take

FY2016 Taxibus - TCS Analysis Blog

December 16, 2015

FY2016 Taxibus - TCS Analysis Blog Ongoing analysis of the FY2016 Taxibus - the tax extenders and omnibus appropriations package recently released by Congress...... Read More

Press Releases

New Report: States Unprepared for Future Extreme Weather Events

November 18, 2015

New Report: States Unprepared for Future Extreme Weather Events   Press Release     National Summary On Wednesday, a new report was released... Read More

More in-depth material from TCS in Earmarks & Appropriations
Reports & Data

Superstorm Sandy Spending Report, Two Years Later

October 28, 2014

Wednesday, October 29th marked the second anniversary of Superstorm Sandy hitting the east coast and provided another opportunity to examine... Read More

Reports & Data

Earmark and Appropriations Data

October 29, 2013

Earmark Data Even under an existing moratorium, earmarks have received a lot of attention in the media, in Congress, and around the water... Read More

Reports & Data

Sandy Supplemental Data

February 12, 2013

As Washington debates the merits of a supplemental spending bill in response to superstorm Sandy, this database lists of all the spending in... Read More

Reports & Data

Analysis of Selected Provisions in Hurricane Sandy Emergency Spending Proposals

December 17, 2012 > Updated: January 10, 2013

Update January 10, 2013: We’ve combed through the House Appropriations Chairman Rogers Sandy Supplemental bill (HR 152 and his amendment to... Read More

TCS appearances in the media in Earmarks & Appropriations

Congress fights Navy decision to discontinue sailors’ iconic peacoat

August 03, 2017 | The Richmond Register

When the late sculptor Stanley Bleifeld designed a bronze statue for the U.S. Naval Memorial in Washington, he depicted a lone sailor warning... Read More

Bring Back Bacon? Southern Illinois Congressmen Push For Return of Budget Earmarks

January 07, 2017 | Chicago Tribune

Congressmen from southern Illinois want the return of so-called earmarks that allow local representatives designate federal funds for local... Read More

Bringing Back the Bacon: Southern Illinois’ Congressmen Push for Return of Earmarks

January 06, 2017 | The Southern Illinoisan

Decades ago, before pork-barrel spending became a pejorative term in American politics, earmarks helped build Southern Illinois. Today, this... Read More

Why Some in Congress Think Bringing Back Earmarks Would be a Good Thing

December 30, 2016 | McClatchy DC

Washington — One of the first questions before the new Congress when it’s sworn in next week could surprise voters who hoped the election... Read More

Bring Back Earmarks? Some Republicans In Congress Are Pushing For It

December 27, 2016 | The Columbus Dispatch

WASHINGTON — When Congress banned earmarks in 2011, it was hailed as a move toward fiscal discipline and away from the much-criticized “pork”... Read More

Weekly Wastebasket

Our weekly reality-check for federal spending. View All

November 18, 2016

Budget Through the Looking Glass

The Presidential transition is ongoing and Republican leadership is moving more work into the next Congress when... Read More

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The President’s Budget for FY2018

The President's proposed budget for fiscal year 2018 is out. Get the facts and see our analysis.

Our Take