D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton says her city was shortchanged by up to hundreds of millions of dollars in earmarks in the Senate’s fiscal year 2023 appropriation bills.
She said the District didn’t get any earmarks in the Senate because there is no representation for D.C. residents in that chamber. Earmarks, which have been absent from the legislative process for a decade, are funding requests by members of Congress for local governments and nonprofits for specific projects in their districts and states.
“The Senate earmarks are only the latest example in which D.C.’s lack of statehood has caused financial harm to the District,” Norton said. “D.C.’s lack of Senate representation cost D.C. tens to hundreds of millions of dollars in earmarks in the fiscal year 2022 and will cost it similar amounts in the fiscal year 2023. This unequal treatment is particularly egregious because D.C. pays more federal taxes per capita than any state and more federal taxes than 23 states.”
The shortchanging of equitable funding for the District is not a new issue for Norton. In the last Congress, the CARES Act treated the District as a territory instead of a state, depriving it of $755 million.
During this Congress, the delegate got the $755 million restored and, in the House, the city received $21 million in earmarks, which is at the same level for most members of her chamber.