NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Earmarked Spending Requested

July 5, 2001

Lawmakers are seeking billions of dollars for projects in their home districts, according to the Washington Post. Citing figures compiled by congressional staff,

  • House members requested 18,898 "earmarks" -- targeted expenditures for home-district projects such as highways, dams, parks and museums -- in the spending bills for fiscal year 2002 making their way through Congress.
  • If all were approved, the cost would amount to $279 billion -- almost the size of the Pentagon's annual budget.
  • The number of earmarks has increased sharply in recent years, rising more than threefold since Republicans won control of Congress in 1995.

White House budget director Mitchell E. Daniels Jr., has launched what one senior House staffer describes as a "jihad" against thousands of proposed earmarks in the 13 annual spending bills that Congress will pass by year's end. In many cases, Daniels says, such targeted expenditures steal resources from more deserving uses, undercut states' authority and increase pressure for more government spending.

Source: John Lancaster, "Budget Earmarks Create Tensions," Washington Post, July 5, 2001.


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