New Earmark Process: What Cities Should Know About Congressionally Directed Spending

April 5, 2021

Congress is reviving the “earmark,” allowing members to request federal funding for specific projects in their district that could benefit cities.

The U.S. House Appropriations Committee announced it will revive a process to allow for members of Congress to request Community Project Funding in appropriations bills for fiscal year 2022.

Congressionally directed spending, also known as “earmarks,” will provide opportunities for cities to work directly with their member of Congress to bring awareness to local projects in their districts that could benefit from federal support.

While earmarks had been discontinued for several years, the new process will allow members of Congress to rank and submit up to 10 qualified Community Project Funding requests. The new process also coincides with a House Transportation Committee opportunity for members of Congress to submit requests for highway and transit project designations. This is part of the reauthorization of the FAST (Fixing America’s Surface Transportation) Act, which is likely to be discussed in committee sometime this May.

Cities should share projects by mid-April

Cities will need to share details of potential projects with their Congress member in the coming weeks. City officials are encouraged to connect with district congressional staff to find out their Congress member’s process and timeline for receiving project requests. Most offices will seek requests up until early to mid-April.

Learn more about the earmark process and get additional city resources from the National League of Cities

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