The US House of Representatives has cut in half earmarks in the appropriations bills for the military and 11 other agencies compared to last year. Led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) the Democratic leadership fulfilled a promise to cut this targeted spending which is primarily used by members to finance pet projects.
Under new disclosure rules implemented this year, members were required to submit earmark requests in writing with statements that they have no financial interests in the requests. Leading the list are Representatives John Murtha (D-PA) with $166 million in requests, C. W. Bill Young (R-PA) who requested $117 million, and Jerry Lewis (R-CA) who asked for $92 million, according to the New York Times.
While half of the earmarks are slated to go to universities, military bases and other public institutions, the military funding bill also includes $1.8 million in funding for 580 private contractors.