U.S. House Requests $14.9 Billion in Earmarks
Members of the U.S. House have requested $14.9 billion in spending on earmarked projects for a transportation bill that will be the vehicle for President Biden’s economic agenda. Republicans joined Democrats in making use of the new earmark process, inaugurated after the practice was effectively banned for a decade by Congress. On Tuesday, May 11th, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee released the list of requested projects and in all, 318 House members requested earmarks, including 213 Democrats and 105 Republicans. The largest request was from Rep. Graves (LA), a Republican member of the transportation committee, who is asking for $945 million for a highway connector. Rep. Schrier (D-WA) requested $665 million to widen State Route 18 in her district and Speaker Pelosi requested four earmarks totaling $32.5 million. The House Republican Leadership did not make requests, but Republican Whip Scalise (LA) did make some in a separate Appropriations Committee process. Rep. Stefanik (R-NY), who replaced Rep. Cheney as Republican Conference Chairwoman, requested seven earmarks totaling $72 million. There is no cap on the amount of earmarks in the bill, unlike the 1% cap being used for the annual appropriations bills.