With the launch of a process called "Community Project Funding," Congress has reinstated an updated practice of earmaking for federal fiscal year 2022.
Under the program, communities are eligible to receive dedicated federal funds for specific projects and priorities during FY2022 by working directly with their congressional delegation. While similar to the earmarking of the past—a practice effectively prohibited for the past decade due to concerns about corruption, though it made billions of dollars available to local projects—this current iteration adds safeguards to promote transparency, accountability, and fairness.
The Community Project Funding process is competitive and can be complicated. House members can submit a total of 10 project requests across all appropriations bills, and total spending on earmarks in the House will be limited to 1 percent of domestic discretionary spending. The House Committee on Appropriations has released guidance and extended deadlines for each of its subcommittees that will consider Community Project Funding requests (the Senate is likely to set its guidelines and deadlines soon thereafter). Check with your local representative to determine their process and deadlines for submitting specific project requests, as these may be required 1-2 weeks ahead of the deadlines listed below:
|House Appropriations Subcommittee||CPF Deadline|
|Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration||April 29, 2021|
|Commerce, Justice, Science||April 29, 2021|
|Defense||April 29, 2021|
|Energy and Water Development||April 28, 2021|
|Financial Services and General Government||April 30, 2021|
|Homeland Security||April 30, 2021|
|Interior, Environment||April 30, 2021|
|Labor, Health and Human Services, Education||April 28, 2021|
|Legislative Branch||April 29, 2021|
|Military Construction, Veterans Affairs||April 28, 2021|
|State, Foreign Operations||April 28, 2021|
|Transportation, Housing and Urban Development||April 30, 2021|
On March 18, The Ferguson Group, a Washington, DC-based lobbying firm representing local governments and public agencies and an ICMA Strategic Partner, reviewed the new Community Project Funding process currently being implemented by Congress. An archive of the webinar and a supplemental brief summarizing the types of programs and eligible uses of funds within each subcommittee's purview are available in the ICMA Classroom (free to ICMA members), providing local communities the tools they need to understand the process, prepare their priority requests, and begin discussions with their congressional delegations.