Sunday, August 5, 2007

Earmarks Inching Closer to Half a Billion; Delegation Earmarks vs. Presidential Earmarks Data Worksheets Added

House Defense and Agriculture earmarks have added another $20 Million to Oregon earmarks, bringing combined House and Senate earmarks past the $490 Million level for FY 2008. FY 2008 earmarks are 19 times FY 2007 Oregon earmarks of $25.73 Million.

Analysis of Presidential vs. Oregon Delegation Earmarks.

1.In the Excel workbook HERE I have added a new worksheet which includes only those earmarks where “the President” is included as either the requestor or in combination with an Oregon Senator or Representative.

The President’s budget earmark requests for Oregon:

Presidential Earmarks Only, Oregon Delegation requested:

Oregon Delegation Reduction in Presidential Earmarks: $(81,264,167)

2.I have added a second worksheet for earmarks NOT from the President, but added by a member of the delegation.

Oregon delegation earmarks NOT in the President’s Budget: $117,143,739

3.Net Increase in Delegation Earmarks vs. President’s Budget: $35,879,572

Some important notes:
  1. About ¼ of the appropriations bills remain to be passed by committee and data entered into the Oregon earmarks database.
  2. The database necessarily currently has similar/duplicate entries for the same project in differing bills from the House and Senate. The amount represented as Presidential earmarks are subject to similar duplication.
  3. None of the appropriations bills has been passed by both House and Senate and signed by the President. The bill reconciliation process, possible vetoes, and the possibility of an omnibus appropriations bill combining several individual bills will impact earmarks, most likely to reduce them.

There are three important “take aways’ :

  1. When all is said and done, Oregon final earmarks for FY 2008 may very well be LESS than the earmarks for Oregon requested by the President in his budget, albeit for different projects than requested in the budget.
  2. Data confirmation that the President’s Budget IS a key source of earmarks should not minimize the significant increase in Oregon Earmarks that seems likely to occur from FY 2007 to FY 2008.
  3. With few appropriations bills actually signed into law it seems likely there may be once again an omnibus spending bill combining several appropriations into one bill. This would likely refocus attention on earmarks, even though unlike last year this is not an election year (but it is a year before the presidential electon).

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