Congress is again faced with an impending deadline to fund the government by March 11.
The House of Representatives has passed a full fiscal year (FY) 2022 funding package that would set new spending levels for the year after multiple continuations of funding at prior year levels. Since it is so close to the March 11 deadline, they also passed a stopgap measure to fund the government until March 15 just in case the Senate does not have the chance to consider and vote on the full year funding bill before the deadline. It is important that Congress passes this to authorize new and increased funding for construction programs included in the November-passed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
This legislation also includes earmarks, or congressionally directed spending as it has been rebranded, for the first time in over a decade. For those that don’t remember, this is funding dedicated to local infrastructure projects chosen by the member representing that area. Proponents of this practice argue that it will help ease partisan dysfunction and give members a local project to point to as a result of their support of a larger bill.