Congressionally Directed Spending for Fiscal Year 2025: How counties can navigate the earmarks process

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Key Takeaways

The Fiscal Year (FY) 2025 Congressional appropriations process has begun with the enactment of both FY 2024 appropriations packages (P.L. 118-42/P.L. 118-47). Since FY 2022, a notable feature of the appropriations process has been the return of earmarks, now known as Congressionally Directed Spending (CDS). The CDS process allows members of Congress to request federal funding for specific projects in their district or state that have a federal nexus and meet certain other requirements. 

What is Congressionally Directed Spending?  

The current CDS process is a stark contrast to the pre-2011 earmark process. Following a ten-year ban, in 2021 Congress brought back a revamped earmark process with increased transparency now referred to as CDS. In order to submit project requests to the appropriations committee, members of Congress must post their project submissions on their websites so that they are publicly available along with documentation certifying they, their spouse and family have no personal financial interest in the projects they request funding for. 

How can counties apply for CDS?

Counties have been eligible CDS recipients in previous fiscal years. NACo encourages counties to contact their members of Congress directly to learn what information is required to apply as applications differ from office to office. Counties can click here to find out which members of Congress represent them. Counties can also view district and specific examples by visiting their respective member websites. 

FY 2025 CDS information

To date, the U.S. House and Senate Appropriations Committee have not issued formal guidance for FY 2025 CDS submissions so details including project eligibility and submission deadlines remain unclear.

Another factor adding to the uncertainty of the FY 2025 process is the recent announcement that Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas) is stepping down as Chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee with the enactment of FY 2024 appropriations legislation. Whoever becomes the next Chair of the House Appropriations Committee will have the ability to alter the requirements for FY 2025 CDS projects. 

Information that could change from FY 2024 to FY 2025 is listed below:

  • Whether CDS will be allowed in FY 2025
  • The deadlines for submitting projects
  • Which types of projects are allowed in CDS
  • Which accounts will be eligible for applications
  • Who is eligible to apply
  • What information will be required in the application process

What’s next?

House and Senate Appropriations Committees will release formal guidance for FY 2025 submissions. As that guidance is released, NACo will update counties with more information.

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