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Tracking STEM Earmarks

A new tool to explore science-relevant earmarks requested by members of Congress.

The House Appropriations Committee recently released a list of nearly 3,000 earmarks requested by House legislators for FY 2022 appropriations, totaling nearly $6 billion. Among these, AAAS has identified dozens of projects relevant to the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) enterprise, from K-12 STEM education to the establishment of new research institutions. See the interactive map below to explore these requests, and see an overview here.

Background: Earmarks are appropriations directed by legislators to a specific district, locality, or institution. Congress first banned them in 2011, but this year legislators decided to bring them back, albeit renamed as "community funding projects," and with rules to boost transparency (see these Congressional Research Service reports on the House [PDF] and Senate [PDF] rules for more).

The projects shown in the above map were submitted by members of the House of Representatives to the House Appropriations Committee for further consideration. Appropriators will review these requests and determine which ones to include in their FY 2022 spending bills (the "Subcommittee" filter above tells you which request is directed to each bill and subcommittee). See the House committee website for more information and the complete list of requests, as well as longer Member-provided project descriptions. We'll add the Senate requests when they come available.

AAAS identified 195 projects by searching for terms like "science," "research," and "innovation." We excluded projects without a clear and specific STEM focus, and used our best judgment for borderline cases. If you know of a STEM-relevant project request you think we missed, contact us.

Authors

Matt Hourihan

Director

Gwendolyn Bogard

Government Relations Associate