Skip to content
CORONAVIRUS: CLICK HERE FOR INFORMATION AND HELP RELATED TO COVID-19 FOR NEW JERSEYANS

Appropriations

If you would like to apply for Congressionally Directed Spending (CDS) for Fiscal Year 2022, please use the link below to start an application. The deadline to submit your CDS application to Senator Booker’s office is Friday, May 28, 2021.

As you may know, there are no guarantees that CDS requests will be funded. Additionally, the process in which appropriation bills are considered, finalized, and signed into law can take many months. Please refer to the FAQ below to check your eligibility to submit a CDS request and answer other questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Please find a list of agencies and accounts accepting Congressionally Directed Spending here. To assist in making the process run smoothly, we have compiled a list of questions to assist you in submitting your request. If you have any additional questions or comments, you may contact Senator Booker’s office via email at: appropriations@booker.senate.gov

What is Congressionally Directed Spending (CDS)?

Originally called “earmarks,” Congressionally Directed Spending refers to funds provided by Congress for projects or programs contained within the annual spending bill, therefore, removing selected projects from the merit based or competitive funds allocation process.

What happened to the ban on CDS?

In 2011, Congress imposed a ban on “earmarks.” On April 26, 2021 the Senate Appropriations Committee announced that Congress would restore the authority to approve congressionally directed spending items with enhanced transparency and accountability.

Who is eligible to submit a CDS request?

Most not-for-profit organizations are eligible to submit a CDS request, including local governments such as municipalities and counties. For-Profit entities are prohibited from receiving CDS funding. Applicants and their projects must be located in New Jersey.

What are the Senate Appropriations Committee requirements for congressionally directed spending items? 
  • No Member Financial Interest: The rules forbid any member from pursuing a congressionally directed spending item to further his or her financial interest, or that of his or her immediate family. Each member requesting a congressionally directed spending item must certify in writing that there is no such interest and make that certification available to the public. 
  • Request in Writing: Any member requesting a congressionally directed spending item must do so in writing, including the Member’s name, the name and location of the intended recipient, and the purpose of the spending item.
  • Committee Consideration: When reporting legislation containing congressionally directed spending items, the Committee is required tomake each item publicly available online in a searchable format as soon as practicable after the mark up (including the name of each Member requesting the item).
  • Disclosure Before Floor Consideration: The rules prohibit a vote on a motion to proceed to a bill or a vote on adoption of a conference report, unless the chair of the committee, certifies that a complete list of congressionally directed spending items has been publicly available for at least 48 hours.
  • Point of Order Against New Projects in Conference Reports: A point of order may be raised against a provision of the conference report if it includes a congressionally directed spending item that was not included in either the House or Senate bills.

In addition to the above-mentioned requirements, there are also several new rules meant to reform the process. These include: 

  • Institution of a 1 percent cap on discretionary spending for congressionally directed spending items;
  • A ban congressionally directed spending items to for-profit entities;
  • A requirement for senators to post online their congressionally directed spending item requests, as well as their financial certification disclosures attesting that they do not have any financial interest in any of the items requested; and
  • A requirement for the Government Accountability Office to audita sample of enacted congressionally directed spending items and report its findings to Congress.
When is Senator Booker’s due date for submitting a CDS request?

Our office deadline for submitting a CDS request is 6pm on Friday, May 28.

Which appropriations accounts are eligible for CDS?

Currently, all but three of the twelve appropriations subcommittees are accepting CDS requests (Legislative Branch, Defense, and State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Subcommittees are not accepting CDS). Please visit the Appropriations page at booker.senate.gov for which accounts within the subcommittees are accepting CDS requests.

I have submitted my CDS request, what’s next?

After the deadline for submission, Senator Booker’s staff will evaluate all CDS requests to make sure they comply with Senate Rules. Afterwards all applications will be screened based on: alignment with Senator Booker’s legislative priorities, service to historically underserved communities, project justification, project feasibility, and project sustainability.

Once Senator Booker makes his CDS request to the Senate Appropriations Committee, the Senate Appropriations Committee will consider his requests as well as the requests of all the United States Senators that choose to submit them. Once the Senate Appropriations Committee has decided which CDS requests will receive funding, that list will be posted to the Committee’s website at appropriations.senate.gov. This is a very lengthy process, so please be aware of this as you are making your requests.

What happens if my project is not selected for funding this cycle?

This year the Senate Appropriations Committee instituted a 1 percent cap on discretionary spending for CDS items. This means that there is a small amount of money available for many worthy projects. Please note that submitting a CDS request to Senator Booker, does not guarantee federal funding. If your project was not selected, or you missed the deadline to apply, there may be an opportunity to submit a request next year-though Congressional leaders have not yet confirmed that this process will repeat in 2022. We recommend visiting grants.gov, which contains an index of federal grant opportunities to which you could potentially apply for federal funding.

If I submitted a CDS request to my House representative, does that preclude me from applying to Senator Booker’s office for the same project? What if my project/application was successfully selected by my House Representative? 

The list of projects selected for funding in the House of Representatives will not be finalized before Senator Booker’s deadline for CDS request applications. An application to another Congressional office does not preclude you from submitting your project to our office, as well. Some eligible entities will request the same project or different pieces of a larger project with different members of their congressional delegation. Ultimately, it doesn’t hurt to submit to both the House and the Senate, we collaborate with other Congressional offices when determining our recommendations and throughout the appropriations process.

However, while applying for the same project with multiple offices may increase your chances of being recommended by one of the offices,  the projects will go through independent selection processes in the Senate and the House and then will be conferenced to fund a final list of projects.

What types of projects can I submit for a CDS request?

CDS requests can range in size from small to large. As long as the request conforms to the guidelines set out by the Senate Appropriations Committee and the applicable appropriations bill and account. Please keep in mind that there is a small pot of money available for CDS requests in the Senate for many worthy projects,  and that in the past the size of funding awards averaged $300,000-$500,000.

Some examples of requests made to the House of Representatives include: funding for the purpose of building a recreational facility, funds for a landscaping project, funds to begin a college access program, and funds to build an ADA compliant walkway.

Who do I contact if I have a specific question about my request?

Please direct all questions regarding Senator Booker’s CDS request process to appropriations@booker.senate.gov