Monday, June 08, 2009


By Marc Korman.

Since January 2009, the US House and Senate have required their members to post their earmark requests on their websites. The links are collected here for the convenience of MPW’s readers.

Earmark requests come in the form of projects and programs. Projects are requests for targeted funding to specific legislative districts or states. For example, the $10 million funding request for the Purple Line by Congressman Van Hollen and others is a project request. Programs are funding for general activities by a government agency. For example, Congressman Bartlett’s $215 million request for Advanced Nurse Education.

Legislators ask for far more than they expect to receive, both in overall projects and the dollar amount of each request. Since legislators strategically ask for far more than they are expecting to receive, the request lists can appear excessive. A Baltimore Sun article declaring that Maryland legislators requested over $1 billion in funding makes good copy, but the amount they will eventually bring home is far less.

When reference is made to earmarks, it usually is to projects funded by the annual appropriations bills Congress passes each year to fund the federal government. However, there are a few other bills where earmarks are common and some legislators also list earmark requests for those even though the rules do not require it.

Barbara Mikulski-

Ben Cardin-

Frank Kratovil-

Dutch Ruppersberger-

John Sarbanes-Unable to identify appropriations from website. Press reports indicate it is buried within a grants announcement page, but I could not identity it.

Donna Edwards-§iontree=15&itemid=131

Steny Hoyer-

Roscoe Bartlett-

Elijah Cummings-

Chris Van Hollen-