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
Letters & Testimony

Letter to House: Reject Effort to End Earmark Moratorium

November 16, 2016

Letter to House: Reject Effort to End Earmark Moratorium Earlier today, TCS sent the following letter to the House of Representatives arguing against a motion to end the moratorium on Congressional... Read More

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

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

Why this Texas Republican Wants to Bring Earmarks back to Washington

November 22, 2016 | Dallas News

WASHINGTON — On the heels of the GOP taking back the White House and maintaining control of Congress, a proposal from a Texas lawmaker to... Read More

Fort Worth’s Water Project Is Finally on the Verge of Funding

August 05, 2016 | McClatchyDC

WASHINGTON - The Trinity River Vision project, years in the works, which backers say will transform Fort Worth, is finally close to getting... Read More

Could An Earmark Have Squeezed Into Pork-Barrel Warrior Paul Ryan’s Latest Pentagon Bill?

July 11, 2016 | Circa News

In March 2010, a Democratic-led House banned earmarks for for-profit corporations. A Republican-led House reaffirmed the ban in November... Read More

Hillary Clinton: An Insider in the Year of the Outsider

June 27, 2016 | Washington Examiner

It was a dichotomous moment in the 2016 race: Hillary Clinton, from the safety of a back room somewhere in New Jersey, told CNN's Jake Tapper... Read More

Bases in Germany May Still Use Pennsylvania Coal

June 23, 2016 | CNHI

WASHINGTON – Anthracite coal from eastern Pennsylvania may continue being shipped to U.S. military bases in Germany after the state's... Read More

Weekly Wastebasket

Our weekly reality-check for federal spending. View All

November 18, 2016

Budget Through the Looking Glass

The Presidential transition is ongoing and Republican leadership is moving more work into the next Congress when... 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