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Senate Earmarks Return

Senate Appropriations Chairman Leahy officially announced that the Senate will include earmarks in the FY22 Appropriations Bills with the Senate rules being similar to the House.  They include capping earmarks at 1 percent of all discretionary spending, banning earmarks to for-profit entities, requiring Senators to post their requests online, having the Government Accountability Office audit some earmarks every year, and requiring Senators to certify in writing that neither they nor their immediate families have financial interests in the earmarks they are requesting.

The appropriations committee is discussing which accounts will be eligible for earmarks and that list is expected to be different than the House.  Senators will not be subject to a cap on the number of requests they can submit (House colleagues are limited to 10 per fiscal year).  Sen Leahy (D-VT) stated, "every member of this chamber has their hands tied. Why? Because we ceded the power of the purse to unelected bureaucrats here in Washington when we instituted a ban on congressionally directed spending."