Over $309 Million In Earmarks for Biking and Walking
The Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Funding Bill for the fiscal year 2022 passed the House Appropriations Committee in mid-July. This key spending bill appropriates $84.1 billion in total funding and allocates $1.9 billion more in transportation funding than in the fiscal year 2021. Much of this funding will be used to repair crumbling bridges, invest in rail and public transit, and reinvigorate transportation infrastructure across the nation. Much like the INVEST in America Act surface transportation bill passed by the House in early July, the Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Funding Bill includes a sizable amount of earmarked funds. The League has been tracking the Appropriations earmarks and analyzing their impact on people biking and walking and other vulnerable road users.
Congressional Democrats resurrected earmarks, formally known as Community Project Funding, in February. Earmarks are a system of Congressionally Directed Funding (CDF) that allows Congress to allocate discretionary funds to a specific project. Similar to the surface transportation bill, the appropriations bill also contains large quantities of earmarked funding.
Our Analysis of the Appropriations Bill Member Designated Projects
- 1079 Transportation and Housing and Urban Development earmarks were requested in total. 213 of these requested earmarks were substantially related to biking or walking. 191 earmarks related to biking or walking were included in the final bill.
- Earmarks were used to appropriate a total of $309,779,018 for projects related to biking and walking in the final bill.
- The average cost of a proposed earmark for biking or walking was $1,722,912. The average cost of an earmark included in the final bill was just dollars less, averaging $1,621,880.
- 133 Members made bicycle or pedestrian-related earmark requests. 126 of these Members had at least one of their requests included in the final bill.
- The two largest bicycle or pedestrian-related earmarks included in the final bill were each for $15,000,000. Rep. Clay Higgins (R-LA) requested the sum to rebuild University Avenue in his district. Rep. John Carter (R- TX) requested the same sum to fund phase II of the Veterans Memorial Blvd project. Both Congressmen are Republicans. The smallest earmark included in the bill for biking or walking was made by Rep. Susan Wild (D-PA) who requested $100,000 for Easton Community Bike Works.
Use this interactive data table to learn more about the earmarks requested by your Member of Congress in the Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Funding Bill.
Interested in earmarks included in the INVEST in America Act? Read our recent blog post taking an in-depth look at how Members used earmarks to advance their transportation priorities.
Author’s note: With over 1000 earmarks requested, it is possible that we omitted a few related to biking or walking. If you catch any we missed, please let us know! We will be updating this article and the data table as changes are made.