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Earmarks Return

March 4, 2021

House Democrats unveiled their long-awaited plan to revive earmarks – or “congressionally directed spending” as they are rebranded. The plan would allow members of Congress to direct money in the annual spending bills that would benefit specific projects in their district. The ban on this practice had resulted in this spending authority being ceded to the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) through discretionary grants. Following that announcement, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio noted that earmarks would be included in the upcoming surface transportation bill and that additional details would be coming later this month. The Senate is separately working out a plan to restore earmarks however the path forward is less clear. AGC will continue to track this issue as further details are released.

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