May 4, 2021 - Politics & Policy

By the numbers: Your earmark dollars at work

An illustration of the Capitol Dome tilted open and money pouring out of the top.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Earmarks are back, and the House is providing an online link to details about the hundreds of projects for which members are requesting federal funding.

Why it matters: It's been more than a decade since representatives could carve out funding for pork-barrel projects. The two House committees overseeing the revamped process are trying to avoid ethical hangups by disclosing who's requesting money — and for what.

What's new: One of those two panels, the House Appropriations Committee, set up a page last week where the public can browse "community project funding" requests by members.

  • The committee plans to release a comprehensive dataset this week compiling all of those requests in a more navigable format.

Between the lines: Unlike earmarks of the past, these are not available to for-profit entities. Instead, they're going to local governments, community organizations and nonprofits. The types of projects run the gamut.

  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) requested $3 million for an environmental resilience study for San Francisco's Embarcadero waterfront.
  • Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) wants $50 million for a "global logistics park" in his district.
  • D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, a Democrat, is asking for $3 million to help fund a new park and pedestrian bridge over the Anacostia River.

You can browse the full list here.

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