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Earmarks are funds provided by the Congress for projects or programs where the congressional direction (in bill or report language) circumvents the merit-based or competitive allocation process, or specifies the location or recipient, or otherwise curtails the ability of the Executive Branch to properly allocate funds.

This database is not designed, and cannot accurately be used, to identify the individual sponsors of congressional earmarks. However, this site will bring greater transparency to these spending provisions. This greater transparency is consistent with a recent change in the House Rules and Senate legislation which requires more disclosure for future earmarks.

The information currently available is a work in progress and will be updated in the coming weeks (most recent update: March 25, 2007).

Congress includes earmarks in appropriation bills -- the annual spending bills that Congress enacts to allocate discretionary spending -- and also in authorization bills. The website was launched with the ability to show aggregate data on the number and cost of earmarks and to see that information by agency, office and account. Additional details will be added in the weeks ahead as information on individual earmarks is completed and verified.

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