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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
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.
In addition to the above-mentioned requirements, there are also several new rules meant to reform the process. These include:
Our office deadline for submitting a CDS request is 6pm on Friday, May 28.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.