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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All the latest content from TCS in Earmarks & Appropriations
Our Take

Senate Appropriations Committee Approves Nearly $550 Billion Spending Bill

July 18, 2014

Senate Appropriations Committee Approves Nearly $550 Billion Spending Bill This week the Senate Appropriations Committee took up the Pentagon spending bill for fiscal year (FY) 2015. When all was said and done, the... Read More

Our Take

TCS Analysis of President’s Supplemental Budget Request

July 08, 2014

TCS Analysis of President’s Supplemental Budget Request Today the Administration submitted to the Congress an emergency supplemental request for $4.3 billion. Here's our ongoing analysis.... Read More

Our Take

Precursor Earmarks in Defense Authorization Bill?

May 13, 2014

In today’s Washington Post, there’s a story about a provision that was tucked into the FY15 National Defense Authorization. The provision... Read More

Letters & Testimony

Joint Letter: Consider H.R. 1380 Creating Access to Reports to Congress

February 18, 2014

Joint Letter: Consider H.R. 1380 Creating Access to Reports to Congress Today, TCS joined with a coalition of good government groups to send a letter urging House leadership to take up H.R. 1380, a bill that... Read More

Letters & Testimony

Joint Letter to Congress: End Budget Gimmicks, Cut Pentagon’s Slush Fund

February 06, 2014

Taxpayers for Common Sense joined with 35 diverse organizations to send Appropriators in Congress a letter calling for an end to gimmicks in the Defense budget.... Read More

Our Take

Omnibus Decreases Oversight of Billions Risked by the Loan Guarantee Program

January 27, 2014

Omnibus Decreases Oversight of Billions Risked by the Loan Guarantee Program By forcing the 1582-page omnibus through Congress in around 69 1/2 hours, lawmakers appropriated $1.1 trillion dollars with an alarming lack... Read More

More in-depth material from TCS in Earmarks & Appropriations
Policy Briefs

Domestic Production Activities Deduction (Section 199): Ineffective Tax Policy

November 04, 2013

Related Resources: Just the Facts about the Domestic Production Activities Deduction The domestic... Read More

Policy Briefs

Mortgage Interest Deduction: Time for Reform

November 01, 2013

The mortgage interest deduction (MID) allows homeowners to deduct from their taxable income the interest payments on home mortgage balances... 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

Sandy Supplemental Data 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

TCS appearances in the media in Earmarks & Appropriations

No earmarks, but still plenty for lawmakers to take credit for

July 23, 2014 | Washington Post

Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) strongly defended his earmarking record while facing a far right primary challenger who attacked him as a big... Read More

Kingston celebrates, defends record

July 21, 2014 | The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

SAVANNAH --- U.S. Rep. Jack Kingston's answer to one of the crucial questions facing his party is deceptively simple. When asked about... Read More

5 Reasons the Appropriations Process Matters

July 18, 2014 | US News & World Report

Passing spending bills can be tough work, but it's time Congress exercised its legislating muscles.... Read More

Congress won’t have to detail lobbyist trips; Critic says lack of disclosure is effort to avoid accountability

July 17, 2014 | Dayton Daily News (Ohio)

Federal lawmakers and their staffs don't have to be quite as up front about taking lobbyist-funded trips after a change quietly sneaked into... Read More

Travels With Don: The Lobbyists, the Nilgai and the Handsome Ranch Foreman

July 16, 2014 | OpenSecrets.org

In 2004, Randy DeLay was asked by the commissioners of the Port of Brownsville, Texas, to justify his $25,000 monthly lobbying bills. Why... Read More

Weekly Wastebasket

Our weekly reality-check for federal spending. View All

January 17, 2014

Omnibushed

Volume XIX No. 3 At eight P.M. Monday night there was no $1.1 trillion spending bill for fiscal year 2014.... Read More

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