Mobile Menu - OpenMobile Menu - Closed

Congressman Bennie Thompson

Representing the District of Mississippi


Appropriations Process

Congress annually considers several appropriations measures, which provide funding for numerous activities, for example, national defense, education, and homeland security, as well as general government operations. Congress has developed certain rules and practices for the consideration of appropriations measures, referred to as the congressional appropriations process.

Appropriations measures are under the jurisdiction of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees. These measures provide only about 40% of total federal spending for a fiscal year. The House and Senate legislative committees control the rest.

There are three types of appropriations measures. Regular appropriations bills provide most of the funding that is provided in all appropriations measures for a fiscal year, and must be enacted by October 1 of each year. If regular bills are not enacted by the deadline, Congress adopts continuing resolutions to continue funding generally until regular bills are enacted. Supplemental appropriations bills provide additional appropriations and are typically considered during a fiscal year.

Each year Congress considers a budget resolution that, in part, sets spending ceilings for the upcoming fiscal year. Both the House and Senate have established parliamentary rules that may be used to enforce certain spending ceilings associated with the budget resolution during consideration of appropriations measures in the House and Senate, respectively.

Congress has also established an authorization-appropriation process that provides for two separate types of measures—authorization bills and appropriation bills. These measures perform different functions and are to be considered in sequence. First, authorization bills establish, continue, or modify agencies or programs. Second, appropriations measures may provide funding for the agencies and programs previously authorized.

Appropriations Requests

Many constituents are interested in federal appropriations requests, or "earmarks," and how they work. The responsible application of earmarked funds, federal resources designated for local projects of high public purpose, can have widespread benefits for our communities, our state, and our nation.

In making such requests, my office seeks to use taxpayer dollars prudently, considering cost-benefit analyses and community support. These requests may support renewable energy, higher education, health care and medical research, military construction, environmental protection, infrastructure, and transportation initiatives that have regional and national benefits. The federal appropriations process is lengthy and complicated, involving 12 separate bills. In compliance with House Appropriations Committee rules and in order to make the process as transparent as possible, I am posting all of my earmark requests on this website.

For your information, below is a list of the earmarks I requested from the House Appropriations Committee for Fiscal Year 2011, categorized by applicable Appropriations Bill.

Click on the legislative subcommittees and various other legislation listed below to see descriptions of my funding requests (Please note the requests will be posted upon submission):