Appropriations

Congressional Appropriations 101

As schools across the country open for another year, students will learn about the division of powers in the federal government.  Teachers will describe the role of Congress and the power of the purse.  They will likely teach what should happen during the budget and appropriations process.

Surprising Republican Support for the Return of Earmarks

During a closed-door House Republican Conference meeting on November 14, 2014, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) proposed reinstituting earmarks for “state, locality (including county and city governments), or a public utility or other public entity.”  His effort had startlingly significant amount of support in the Republican caucus: the proposal was defeated by a vote of 145-67.  Rep. Rogers’ act netted him the dubious honor of being named Citizen Against Government Waste (CAGW)’s “Porker of the Month” for November 2014.  Rep. Rogers is a repeat offender, also earning the award in April 2012, after his first failed attempt to end the earmark ban on March 30, 2012.

ARC Gets Earmark Boost

Those pork-barrel spenders are at it again.  This time, they increased the President’s fiscal year (FY) 2014 budget request for the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) by 23 percent, from $64.6 million to $80 million, in H.R. 3547, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, which was signed into law on January 17, 2014. 

Put a Fork In it! Earmarks are Dead ... Almost.

In a November 4, 2013 blog published in The Hill titled “Congress should return to responsible earmark policy,” former Rep. George Nethercutt (R-Wa.) claimed that failure to do so would create “purist legislators who largely disdain compromise, resist seniority, and refuse Congressional earmarks.” 

What If You Manufactured a Crisis, and No One Panicked?

On Friday, March 1st, 2013, the Second Mayan Apocalypse will occur – or so President Obama might have you believe.

One for Three, and Savings for All

“To sequester, or not to sequester?” That appears to be the question for many of our congressional Hamlets.

Rep. Pelosi’s Comment Misses the Mark on the U.S. Budget Problem

This weekend, House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) spoke with Chris Matthews on "Fox News Sunday."  During the interview, Pelosi delivered a quote that may be the early front runner for most absurd quote of 2013: “It is almost a false argument to say that we have a spending problem.

It’s Déjà Vu All Over Again: GAO Exposes Government Waste and Duplication at its Worst

On March 1, 2011, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) published “Opportunities to Reduce Potential Duplication in Government Programs, Save Tax Dollars, and Enhance Revenue,” identifying 34 agencies, offices, and initiatives that provide similar or identical services to the same populations, along with 47 programs that are either wasteful or inefficient. The list includes 18 nutrition and food assistance programs, 47 job retraining programs, and 80 economic development programs, along with $77 billion of waste at the Department of Defense and $125 billion in improper payments by government agencies, among many others.

Earmark Moratorium: Earmarks Live On, Transparency Does Not

Considering that an earmark moratorium is in effect, Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW)’s Pork Patrol sure seems to be uncovering a lot of earmarks.

When the one-year earmark moratorium was announced for fiscal year (FY) 2012, seasoned observers anticipated that earmarks would not disappear, but merely change shape. Judging by the 15 appropriations bills that CAGW has analyzed thus far, this viewpoint has been corroborated. Eleven of these bills contain earmarks, totaling 248 projects worth $9.5 billion. While the number has substantially decreased compared to prior years, any earmark violates the moratorium. Leading the way is the Department of Defense (DOD) bill, in which the Senate included 49 earmarks worth $2.9 billion and the House added 72 earmarks worth $3.9 billion.

Port Earmark Divides South Carolina Senators

Citing the need to modernize the Port of Charleston, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) submitted a $400,000 earmark to the Senate version of the fiscal year 2011 Energy and Water Appropriations Act to study the port’s potential deepening.  However, the Senate Appropriations Committee rejected the project. 

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CAGW Names Rep. Elijah Cummings November 2017 Porker of the Month

Rep. Cummings is CAGW's November Porker of the Month for attempting to place price controls on prescription drugs.