Earmarks Total 16 Billion Dollars in Spending Bill


    There are more than 7,500 earmarks that total $16 billion, which lawmakers are trying to negotiate as part of a year-long “omnibus” spending bill that will expire at the close of the fiscal year in September 2023.

    The key lawmakers made it clear late on Tuesday night that there is an Omnibus Framework Agreement. Bloomberg Government reported earlier in the day that there were more than 7,500 earmarks that total $16 billion in 2023's legislation on appropriations released throughout the year, which could be included in it into the overall agreement.

    Bloomberg Government reported that there are 3,123 earmarks of $7,780,973,000 from Senate in the appropriations for 2023 bills, and 4,386 earmarks amounting to $8,231,999 from the House:

    “The Senate included 3,123 earmarks worth $7,780,973,000 within its fiscal 2023 appropriations bills that were published in July, according to a Bloomberg Government analysis of nine documents that were released through the Senate Appropriations Committee. An overall Excel document that contains all earmarks, as compiled from 9 PDF documents, can be downloaded here. On the House side, the lawmakers included 4,386 earmarks, totalling $8,231,999,565 as per an analysis conducted earlier in the year. A central Excel document that includes the House earmarks can be found here. In total, both chambers have made public 7,509 earmarks that total $16,012,972,565.”

    The amount of money earmarked is less than one percent of the $1.7 trillion of government funding lawmakers expect to wrap up this year. The members agreed to set a 1% cap to the new earmarking system after bringing it back before the fiscal year 2022 deadline, following a decade-long ban on the procedure.

    Earmarks are the spending rules which House as well as Senate lawmakers have included in bills that are expected to be approved and then made law. The Congressional Research Service has defined the term “earmarks” as being a benefit for “a specific entity or state, locality, or congressional district other than through a statutory or administrative formula or competitive award process.”

    In the end, they permit lawmakers to include “pork” in bills that are used to fund projects within their district — and can also be used to reward supporters and other special interests. Breitbart News' Joel Pollak said the typical reason lawmakers make to justify the use of earmarks “is that they assist in breaking the political gridlock. Some politicians might be willing to stand with their party when there's something that benefits people back home (or those who fund the campaigns).”

    Bloomberg Government explained that “powerful” retiring senators will be among the “biggest winners” if negotiators are able to reach an agreement on the Omnibus. These include Senate Appropriations Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) with $213 million in earmarks, Vice Chair Richard Shelby (R-AL) with an earmark of $656 million, as well as Senate Armed Services ranking member Jim Inhofe (R-OK) with $511 million in earmarks.

    It includes $200 million to the Alabama State Port Authority, $100 million to fund Department of Transportation work on the Woolsey Finnell Bridge over the Black Warrior River in Tuscaloosa, and $76 million to fund Tuscaloosa's University of Alabama at Birmingham's School of Medicine.

    It is also possible that lawmakers are unable to agree on an omnibus bill and push the agreement into the next year when leaving lawmakers quit Congress. If that happens, it's possible that the plans of their lawmakers will be taken out of negotiations during the following Congress.


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