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Cole extends earmark request deadlines after pushback

Quick turnaround time, especially after new HUD project ban, had lawmakers scrambling

Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., leaves a House Republican Conference meeting in the Capitol on April 16.
Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., leaves a House Republican Conference meeting in the Capitol on April 16. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

House appropriators are extending some deadlines for lawmakers to submit their earmark requests to subcommittees after an outcry from members who originally had just a week to get their projects in order before this Friday’s cutoff.

Members will now have until May 10 to submit requests for the Commerce-Justice-Science, Interior-Environment, and Transportation-HUD bills, according to an email appropriations staff sent to offices Wednesday morning.

The deadline for the Agriculture, Energy-Water, Homeland Security, and Military Construction-VA bills will remain May 3. Programmatic language requests are also due Friday.

The Transportation-HUD deadline had proved especially tricky to meet as lawmakers had to navigate a major new obstacle to securing project funding for their districts.

[Lawmakers chafe at nonprofit earmark ban, tight request deadline]

House Appropriations Chairman Tom Cole, R-Okla., rolled out a new ban on nonprofit earmarks under the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Economic Development Initiative grant program last week.

This significant departure from past policy blocks funding for numerous organizations that members of both parties had secured money for in previous cycles, from homeless shelters to Young Men’s Christian Associations and Boys & Girls Clubs.

The move aimed to limit “political” earmarks, Cole said, and Republicans had been upset about earmarks Democrats pushed for last year to aid the LGBTQ community.

Some offices had been waiting for the guidance before picking which projects they wanted to put forward, and others who had made selections had to edit their lists due to the new rules.

House Appropriations ranking member Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., said Tuesday that members were “scrambling” and that she had asked for an extension.

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