Legislation that authorizes programs can establish, continue, or modify an agency or program for a fixed or indefinite period of time. Authorizing legislation is vetted by the committee of jurisdiction, which has expertise in matters dealing with the agency or program.
The legislation puts in place the duties and functions of an agency or program, the organizational structure, and the responsibilities of agency or program officials.
The legislation also provides authorization for appropriations for an agency or program. The amount authorized to be appropriated is most often specified for each fiscal year. The authorization of appropriations is intended to provide guidance regarding the suitable amount of funds to carry out the authorized activities of an agency.
The Constitution gives Congress the responsibility of funding the activities of the federal government. As this responsibility is carried out for the next two years (2011 and 2012), members of the Senate Republican caucus have voluntarily refrained from requesting funding for specific home-state projects. Over the last several years, Grassley has supported efforts to eliminate all earmarks, but those efforts were ultimately not successful. This year, Republicans in the House and Senate have committed to reduce unnecessary spending, including this first-step effort to trim earmarks from the federal budget.
Senator Grassley is well-known for his efforts to restore fiscal responsibility in the U.S. Senate. He understands that the unsustainable budget deficit and national debt is not due to too many taxes, but rather due to too much spending. And, earmarks, while only a small fraction of the overall budget, have become a symbol of the overspending in Washington, D.C.
Grassley also has supported efforts to improve transparency in the legislative process. Legislation passed in 2007, required all earmarks to be posted by the Appropriations Committee on the Internet at least 48 hours before the legislation comes up for a vote, including the recipient and Senate sponsor. Each Senator must also submit a written statement that details the project and that certifies that no personal financial benefit is to be gained.
Beginning in 2007, Grassley went one step further by disclosing on his website all requests from Iowans and the Iowa projects that ultimately received funding. Additional new rules required all members of Congress to post information on their websites at the time requests are made to the Appropriations Committee. The information must include an explanation of the purpose of the request and why it is a valuable use of taxpayer funds.
Fiscal 2011 Appropriations
All proposals for fiscal 2011 funding were due to Grassley's office by March 1. This year, because of the large volume of requests and limited amount of funds available, Grassley forwarded only the highest priorities of nonprofit organizations, cities and the state to the Appropriations Subcommittees.
For example, Grassley is submitting one economic development, one transportation and one sewer/wastewater project per municipality to the committee for its consideration. Funding levels for these projects will be capped and some requests will be based on need or federal mandates. Once the requests are forwarded to the Appropriations Committee, it is then the responsibility of the committee to review the requests and determine the allocation of funds.
Each appropriations subcommittee sets its own deadline and guidelines for member offices to submit requests. As those deadlines approach, a list of the appropriations requests Grassley forwarded from Iowans to each subcommittee for fiscal 2011 will be shown here. The requests are broken down by subcommittee.
Armed Services (this is not an appropriations subcommittee, but this committee must authorize the Military Construction requests)
Fiscal 2010 Appropriations
To see a list of the appropriations requests Senator Grassley forwarded to each appropriations subcommittee for fiscal 2010, click the respective committee below. The requests are broken down by subcommittee. Larger subcommittees are further broken down based on the project location and which of Grassley's Iowa district offices services that location. Two of Grassley's Labor, Health and Human Services requests are authorized national programs that require an appropriation for continued funding.
Fiscal 2009 Appropriations
In November 2008, President Bush signed into law the Department of Defense, Military Construction and Homeland Security spending bills.
In March 2009, President Obama signed into law an omnibus appropriations bill that included projects in the nine remaining appropriations bills.
To see a list of Iowa projects funded in the fiscal 2009 appropriations bills, click here:
This list is not a complete compilation of all Iowa projects.
Fiscal 2008 Appropriations
On December 19, 2007, the Senate passed the fiscal 2008 Omnibus Appropriations Bill. This spending bill included 11 of the 12 annual appropriations bills.
***DISCLAIMER: These figures may be subject to an across the board cut. This is a preliminary chart of projects for Iowa and the list may be subject to change.