How favors end up as law
At the start of each year, thousands of earmark seekers come to Capitol Hill to lobby for dollars.
The House and Senate appropriations committees allow each member of Congress to submit a wish list of earmarks — federal spending for projects the agencies did not request. Committee members have the most influence in getting earmarks.
The defense bill, like most spending bills, has spending limits. To make room for earmarks, Congress must cut items agencies have requested. Figuring out what those cuts are by reading the bill is quite difficult.
Earmarks approved by the committees are appended to the bills. Most earmarks are a few words in small type in a committee report.
Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company
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