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

Subcommittee Passes FY2016 Energy & Water Spending Bill

April 15, 2015

Subcommittee Passes FY2016 Energy & Water Spending Bill Our Take: House Energy and Water Spending Bill FY2016 Passed by Appropriations Subcommittee On April 15th, the House Appropriations Energy... Read More

Our Take

Senate Budget Committee Holds Hearing on The Benefits of a Balanced Budget

March 23, 2015

Senate Budget Committee Holds Hearing on The Benefits of a Balanced Budget At a March 11th Senate Budget Committee hearing on the benefits of a balanced budget, lawmakers discussed government waste, corporate welfare,... Read More


TCS Statement on the Senate Passing the CROmnibus spending bill

December 14, 2014

TCS Statement on the Senate Passing the CROmnibus spending bill Saturday night the Senate voted 56-40 to pass the CROmnibus. As we have documented (and will continue to document) this bill has many flaws,... Read More

Our Take

Stocking Stuffers in CROmnibus’ Pentagon Spending

December 12, 2014

Stocking Stuffers in CROmnibus’ Pentagon Spending The Pentagon portion of the CROmnibus is liberally sprinkled with funding for programs the Pentagon either wants to end or never asked for in... Read More


Statement by Ms. Ryan Alexander, President, Taxpayers for Common Sense on the fiscal year 2015 Omnib

December 10, 2014

Statement by Ms. Ryan Alexander, President, Taxpayers for Common Sense on the fiscal year 2015 Omnib We will analyze this bill and find various spending nuggets and legislative provisions, both good and bad, and then it's time to turn the page... Read More

Our Take

CROmnibus Analysis Blog

December 09, 2014

CROmnibus Analysis Blog The eagerly anticipated CROmnibus, that will provide funding for the federal government for fiscal year 2015, has finally been... 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

More Carbon Capture Projects Could Lose Funding as Recovery Act Deadline Looms

March 17, 2015 | Bloomberg BNA

March 16 — Two carbon capture and sequestration projects are at risk of having hundreds of millions of dollars in Recovery Act funding revoked... Read More

Don’t Bust the Budget Caps

March 04, 2015 | U.S. News & World Report

It was a classic good news/bad news story in Washington last week. The week started with rumors that House Budget Committee Chairman Tom... Read More

After Major Congressional Action, Little Change at Army Corps

February 20, 2015 | Environment & Energy

For years, Congress' self-imposed ban on earmarks appeared to deliver a death blow to lawmakers' say on water resources. To fiscal... Read More

As Ebola Fades, Questions Arise over Billions in U.S. Aid

February 10, 2015 | Fox News

Aid officials say a surge of international support since last fall has helped contain the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, but as U.S.-built... Read More

Tax Reform Is Feasible in the 114th Congress

January 07, 2015 | Capital Insider

The GOP assumed control of both chambers of Congress on Tuesday and set the stage for another round of fierce partisan battles. At issue:... Read More

Weekly Wastebasket

Our weekly reality-check for federal spending. View All

April 17, 2015

Silencing Sequester Scaremongers

Before getting into the substance of this wastebasket, a little history is in order. In the wake of the 2010... 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