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
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

Our Take

Congress Gives $62 Million to USEC, Just Weeks Away from Its Bankruptcy

January 16, 2014

Congress Gives $62 Million to USEC, Just Weeks Away from Its Bankruptcy In a move that was as outrageous as it was unsurprising, appropriators included $62 million in the omnibus now being pushed through Congress... Read More

Our Take

Meddling in Medical Research and Development

January 15, 2014

Meddling in Medical Research and Development Old habits die hard. Congressional earmarks have been prohibited since 2010. “Bridges to Nowhere” are scarce but that doesn’t mean Congress... Read More

Our Take

Congress Turns to Slush to Fund Water Projects

January 15, 2014

Congress Turns to Slush to Fund Water Projects Unlike many other agencies, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ budget is built project-by-project. The President typically requests funding... 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

Congress Does Something-Pushes $127 Billion in Tax Breaks

April 07, 2014 | The Fiscal times

in a clear sign that Congress remains light years away from tax reform, the Senate Finance Committee on Thursday approved a bill to renew a... Read More

The tax extenders package

April 03, 2014 | Capital Insider, WJLA News 9

Congress wants to pass a bill prolonging tax breaks for special interest groups. They also want to delay cuts to doctor reimbursements under... Read More

Politifact: Did Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran spurn Katrina bridge-repair project to back ‘Bridge to Nowhere’?

March 28, 2014 | Politifact.com

Mississippi Sen. Thad Cochran was first elected to Congress in 1972, and was elected to the Senate six years later. But at age 76,... Read More

Congress’ longest-serving woman plays by ‘old-school rules’

March 19, 2014 | USA Today

WASHINGTON — Sen. Barbara Mikulski stuck to a few rules while haggling with Republicans over a fiscal 2014 spending bill: no surprises, no... Read More

How Lockheed Martin Costs Taxpayers Big Money

February 20, 2014 | U.S. News & World Report

If you are paying attention to the Winter Olympics, you may have read about the embarrassing debut of the Under Armour Mach 39 super suits... Read More

Weekly Wastebasket

Our weekly reality-check for federal spending. View All

January 17, 2014


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