Congressionally Directed Spending Requests

Congressionally Directed Spending Requests

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy on April 26, 2021, announced that Congress would restore – on a bipartisan basis – the authority to approve congressionally-directed spending items with enhanced transparency and accountability.

In order to submit a request for project funding, please use one of the following forms: 

Please note the deadline to submit requests for the fiscal year 2022 appropriations bills is May 5, 2021, at 9 p.m. EST/6 p.m. PST. 

Also note that any requests may be posted publicly in accordance with Rule XLIV of the Standing Rules of the Senate, which requires rigorous procedures for transparency and accountability. 

Transparency and accountability

The Appropriations Committee also announced the following requirements for congressionally directed spending items: 

Existing Requirements: In reviewing member requests for congressionally directed spending items, the Senate Appropriations Committee will implement Rule XLIV of the Standing Rules of the Senate. Rule XLIV, requires rigorous procedures for accountability and transparency, such as:

  • No Member Financial Interest: The rules forbid any member from pursuing a congressionally directed spending item to further his or her financial interest, or that of his or her immediate family. Each member requesting a congressionally directed spending item must certify in writing that there is no such interest and make that certification available to the public. 
  • Request in Writing: Any member requesting a congressionally directed spending item must do so in writing, including the Member’s name, the name and location of the intended recipient, and the purpose of the spending item.
  • Committee Consideration: When reporting legislation containing congressionally directed spending items, the Committee is required to make each item publicly available online in a searchable format as soon as practicable after the mark up (including the name of each Member requesting the item).
  • Disclosure Before Floor Consideration: The rules prohibit a vote on a motion to proceed to a bill or a vote on adoption of a conference report, unless the chair of the committee, certifies that a complete list of congressionally directed spending items has been publicly available for at least 48 hours.
  • Point of Order Against New Projects in Conference Reports: A point of order may be raised against a provision of the conference report if it includes a congressionally directed spending item that was not included in either the House or Senate bills.

Reforms: In addition to these important requirements, rules for congressionally directed spending items will be further enhanced with reforms that will: 

  • Institute a 1 percent cap on discretionary spending for congressionally directed spending items;
  • Ban congressionally directed spending items to for-profit entities;
  • Require Senators to post online their congressionally directed spending item requests, as well as their financial certification disclosures attesting that they do not have any financial interest in any of the items requested; and
  • Require the Government Accountability Office to audit a sample of enacted congressionally directed spending items and report its findings to Congress. 

Disclaimer

Please note that any congressionally directed spending requests are for informational purposes only and are not an application for federal funding. Submission of such requests does not constitute a binding commitment on any party nor a guarantee that any organization will be awarded funding from any federal agency through this process. Furthermore, the submission, review, and approval of applications for federal funding will be carried out consistent with federal agency rules and regulations.