What to Know in Washington: Republicans Embrace Earmarked Cash

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Museums are out, locks and dams are in, and leading progressives such as Rosa DeLauro are taking home less earmarked cash than Freedom Caucus Republicans like Matt Gaetz via a process the GOP considered scrapping as recently as last year.

House Republicans now embrace earmarks since obtaining the majority, with Gaetz (R-Fla.) and other Freedom Caucus conservatives aiming to net tens of millions of dollars more than any Democrat. But they’ve also changed the rules, banning earmarked funds from some appropriations bills and barring funds for museums — moves that angered Democrats and created a growing rift between the House and Senate approaches to spending on local projects.

A comparison of the two chambers’ earmarks included in fiscal 2024 appropriations bills shows a greater House GOP focus on water infrastructure and police funding, as the House’s approach limits funds for hospitals, colleges, and workforce development initiatives.

House Republicans stand to take home $4.5 billion of the $7.4 billion in earmarks included in the chamber’s appropriations bill for fiscal 2024, compared to Democrats’ $2.7 billion, according to a Bloomberg Government analysis. Another $107.9 million was requested by bipartisan groups of lawmakers.

The Senate’s partisan breakdown was less lopsided. Of the Senate’s $7.7 billion in earmarks, nearly $4 billion were requested by Democrats, $3 billion requested by Republicans, and $772.5 million by bipartisan pairs or groups. The tally includes independent Sens. Angus King (Maine), Bernie Sanders (Vt.), and Kyrsten Sinema (Ariz.) — who have all at some point caucused with Democrats — under the Democratic total.

Readers can access a central Excel document containing all 4,714 House earmarks here, compiled from PDF documents published by the House Appropriations Committee. They can access a document with all 3,739 Senate earmarks here. Jack Fitzpatrick highlights the biggest trends — read more.


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To contact the reporters on this story: Giuseppe Macri in Washington at gmacri@bgov.com; Brandon Lee in Washington at blee@bgov.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kayla Sharpe at ksharpe@bloombergindustry.com

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