Energy, enviro earmarks in the final fiscal 2024 bills

By Timothy Cama, Nico Portuondo | 03/05/2024 06:25 AM EST

Big earmarks will help fund wastewater improvements, a Tennessee lock and Everglades restoration.

Sen. John Thune speaks with reporters at the U.S. Capitol.

Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), speaking with reporters at the Capitol, has the largest earmark in the fiscal 2024 Interior-EPA spending bill. Francis Chung/POLITICO

Many energy and environmental programs are in for cuts in spending legislation Congress is planning to pass in the coming days, but set-asides for lawmakers’ projects back home aren’t suffering.

The spending bill, which includes six fiscal 2024 bills, represents a huge year for congressional earmarks, in which lawmakers give sometimes millions of dollars to specific projects in their home states or districts.

The practice was long dormant, but Democrats revived a limited version in 2021. Republicans added some restrictions for earmarks — now dubbed “community project funding” — when they took the House majority last year.


The package released Sunday includes $12.7 billion in earmarked federal dollars for 6,630 local and state projects. Though it’s just six of the 12 appropriations bills, the total already exceeds the $9.1 billion in fiscal 2022 earmarks and is on pace to exceed fiscal 2023’s total of $15.3 billion for more than 7,000 projects.