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

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

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

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

New Balance Close to Win in Buy-America Foot Race for Military

June 06, 2016 | Bloomberg News

New Balance Athletic Shoe Inc. is close to winning an almost decade-long marathon: A buy-American provision in the massive defense policy bill... Read More

Pentagon Spending Shenanigans

June 06, 2016 | U.S. News & World Report

In the last few weeks, the federal appropriations process has taken a few, painful, stutter-steps in the House of Representatives.... Read More

No Defense for This Budget Gambit

May 24, 2016 | U.S. News & World Report

It was only five weeks ago that I expressed optimism for some fiscal discipline on the part of the annual appropriations process. My fleeting... Read More

As a Senator, Hillary Clinton Got Along With the GOP. Could She Do So as President?

May 16, 2016 | CQ Magazine

It looks increasingly likely that voters this November will have a clear choice. In Donald Trump, they'd have a true Washington outsider... Read More

No More Fantasy Fiscal Plans

May 16, 2016 | U.S. News & World Report

For all of the public attention on the presidential election this year, very little of that attention has been paid to how the candidates will... Read More

Weekly Wastebasket

Our weekly reality-check for federal spending. View All

June 24, 2016

Aviation Extension Shenanigans

Turmoil in Congress has thrown everything up in the air. The House left early for its 4th of July recess, and... Read More

TCS Rated 4-Star Charity!

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