According to a recently released report by Taxpayer’s for Common Sense (TCS), House members will receive $290 million more in earmarks this year, than in last. This increase is also accompanied by an increase in approved projects, which will swell by about 200 this year.
These spending projects are included in the appropriations bills approved by the House, and so far we have only passed one of these spending bills. Current House leadership is hoping that a Democratic President will be friendlier to member earmarks, so it is unlikely we will pass or even consider anymore appropriations bills until after the first of the year.
Overall, $5.12 billion accounts for all the earmarks in the spending bills we have seen thus far. That takes into account these bills before conference reports, however conference reports are notorious for being stuffed with pork before being sent off to the President.
Earmarks are the gateway drug to overspending, they must be reformed to help temper Congress’ addiction.