…’An earmark is a provision inserted into a discretionary spending appropriations bill that directs funds to a specific recipient while circumventing the merit-based or competitive funds allocation process’….
In the United States, the term earmark is used in relation with the congressional allocation process. Discretionary spending, which is set by the House and Senate Appropriations Committees and their various subcommittees, usually through appropriation acts, is an optional part of fiscal policy which differs from mandatory spending for entitlement programs in the federal budget.
The reemergence of earmarked, banned since 2011, should give lawmakers the ability to target specific places in their district or states and should make bargaining on legislation easier for Democrats (and Republicans)……
It is a move to bing back more compromise going forward after the Trump/Republicans majorities political control….
Democrats and Republicans have been talking about bringing back earmarks since just after Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, added a ban to House GOP rules in 2011. Senate Democrats followed a few months later with the support of President Barack Obama.
Senate Republicans made their earmark prohibition permanent last year, but several party members, including Appropriations Chairman Richard C. Shelby, R-Ala., support bringing the practice back.
When Democrats regained control of the House in 2019 the prohibition on earmarking in that chamber technically ended, and internal discussions began about when and how to bring back congressionally directed spending. Lowey opted not to bring back earmarks during this session after receiving pushback from new, more moderate members of the Democratic Caucus who were concerned about oversight, transparency and the politics of bringing back earmarks….