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
Press Releases

Green Scissors Coalition Releases New Subsidy Database

November 17, 2014

Green Scissors Coalition Releases New Subsidy Database New, interactive database identifies environmentally-harmful government waste... Read More

Our Take

Senate Energy and Water Spending Bill Held in Committee

August 06, 2014

Senate Energy and Water Spending Bill Held in Committee In June, the Senate Appropriations Committee scheduled a markup of the chamber’s FY2015 Energy and Water Appropriations bill only to pull it... Read More

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

Energy and Water Bill Passes House

July 16, 2014

Energy and Water Bill Passes House On Thursday, the House approved a $34 billion energy and water spending bill, providing funding for projects ranging from water development... 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

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

Reviving Earmarks is Not Going to Break Congress’ Gridlock

November 19, 2014 | US News & World Report

There is wide agreement inside and outside of Washington that the recent level of Congressional dysfunction has reached troubling... Read More

San Jose State clams up on no-bid Cisco contract

November 17, 2014 | San Jose Mercury News

SAN JOSE -- Unanswered questions are mounting in San Jose State's handling of a $28 million, no-bid technology deal as campus leaders... Read More

House Committee Chairman Helps Company Linked to His Son

November 13, 2014 | Bloomberg

The Pentagon didn't want it, but McKeon's amendment would steer millions to a pilot program that would hire private companies to put veterans in jobs. ... Read More

The bridge that wasn’t built killed earmarks

November 03, 2014 | Rapid City Journal

What may have finally doomed the practice in the U.S. Congress of earmarking was the 2005 attempt to get $223 million for an Alaska bridge... Read More

When Interests Overlap for Durbin, Lobbyist Wife

October 06, 2014 | Chicago Tribune

Sen. Dick Durbin has long said that he and his wife, Loretta, an Illinois lobbyist, take pains to separate their work and avoid conflicts of... Read More

Weekly Wastebasket

Our weekly reality-check for federal spending. View All

October 24, 2014

Sandy Anniversary: Still Money to Spend, Will It Be Spent Right?

Wednesday, October 29th will mark the second anniversary of Superstorm Sandy hitting the east coast. Last year... 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

Weekly Wastebasket

Bribing to Subsidize

October 03, 2014

Weekly Wastebasket

Pricey Plane to Keep

September 25, 2014