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.

Explore the Earmarks & Appropriations Program Explore Earmarks & Appropriations Close
All the latest content from TCS in Earmarks & Appropriations
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

Our Take

The Rules Don’t Apply to Us

October 07, 2015

The Rules Don’t Apply to Us That may well be the rallying cry of the Pentagon budgeteers in the last dozen or more years. And they’ve been aided and abetted in this point... Read More

Our Take

Who’re You Calling a CR?

September 01, 2015

Who’re You Calling a CR? Given the Congress’ utter abdication of its Constitutionally-mandated power to decide how federal dollars will be spent, we are now less than... Read More

Our Take

Homeland Security in the House Appropriations Committee

July 17, 2015

Homeland Security in the House Appropriations Committee This week the House Committee on Appropriations took up the Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).... Read More

Our Take

Senate Approves FY 2016 Energy and Water Spending Bill

May 27, 2015

Senate Approves FY 2016 Energy and Water Spending Bill The Senate Appropriations Committee approved its FY2016 Energy and Water spending bill on Thursday, May 21st, after a markup where lawmakers... 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... Read More

TCS appearances in the media in Earmarks & Appropriations

U.S. Opens Spigot for Lock-and-Dam Fixes, Even as Coal Traffic Dwindles

February 05, 2016 | The Wall Street Journal

CHARLEROI, Pa.—A few years ago, coal barges lined up 20 or 30 deep, waiting their turn for a towboat to shuttle them through the locks near... Read More

From the Front Lines of a $1.8 Trillion National Budget Deal

January 21, 2016 | PR Week

Steve Ellis, VP of Taxpayers for Common Sense, talks about his work on the budget deal - the good, the bad, and the ridiculous... Read More

Editorial: To Lessen Waste, Hold Bureaucracy Accountable

January 19, 2016 | Lockport Union Sun & Journal (NY)

Thousands of recommendations that could save taxpayers tens of billions of dollars are gathering dust, according to the U.S. Government... Read More

Fiscal Failures

January 12, 2016 | U.S. News & World Report

The president delivers his final State of the Union this evening. I expect we will hear a lot about those accomplishments that he feels most... Read More

Deep Dive into the Omnibus

December 25, 2015 | Capital Insider

During the past two weeks, Capital Insider has been focused on the positive and negative aspects of the omnibus -- the 2,000 plus page... Read More

Weekly Wastebasket

Our weekly reality-check for federal spending. View All

December 18, 2015

Festibus for the Rest of Us

Just in time for our last Weekly Wastebasket of 2015, the Congress hammered out a compromise spending bill for... Read More

TCS Celebrates 20th Anniversary

The President’s Budget for FY2015

The President's proposed budget for fiscal year 2015 is out. Get the facts and see our analysis.

Our Take

Weekly Wastebasket

Final Budget Countdown

February 05, 2016

Reports & Data

TCS Yearly Budget Request Analyses

February 05, 2016

Letters & Testimony

TCS Urges Lawmakers to End Ethanol Blender Pump Spending

February 02, 2016