The House has begun drafting its 12 annual spending bills, and you know what that means: a new round of "congressionally directed spending," aka earmarks. Under rules adopted when the Democrats took control in 2007, member requests that make it into the bill must be disclosed. In its first two spending bills, the lists of earmarks runs to 51 pages.
Earmark totals are expected to drop this year as House Republicans have pledged to refrain from such requests. Not all Republicans are following along, though: GOP Rep. Anh "Joseph" Cao of Louisiana requested $800,000 for a FEMA operations center in New Orleans, $2 million for coastal restoration in Baton Rouge, La., and $350,000 for "cops and clergy" in Jefferson Parish, La. Across all 12 spending bills, Alaska Republican Rep. Don Young has submitted 30 pages of requests for the next fiscal year.