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Who brings home the bacon in Congress?

BY: POLITICO PRO STAFF | 12/19/2022 12:30 PM EST

Letter from the Editor:

Two big bills — the annual defense authorization and the omnibus spending package — have dominated the end of this Congress.

Our reporters are still breaking down every aspect of these bills, but one thing stood out to me this week in our Pro Premium coverage: A list of earmarks in the defense bill. As POLITICO’s Taylor Miller Thomas shows in an excellent graphic below, earmarks have become a bipartisan affair, with more than $1 billion flowing into House members’ home districts.

On the defense bill, Rep. Don Bacon is leading the way in bringing home the bacon (sorry, couldn’t resist). The Nebraska Republican helped Offutt Air Force Base land a $235 million earmark. These defense earmarks have been bipartisan affairs, with members of both parties nabbing millions in military projects for their home districts.

Bringing back earmarks has certainly smoothed the way for passage of major spending and authorization bills, as it’s become clear that members of Congress believe they know better which projects need funding in their home states, rather than leaving it to the executive agencies to make those decisions.

As we scramble to the end of this Congress, I’d like to thank the readers of the Pro Premium Weekly for tagging along with us during this extraordinary year of policy and politics. The Pro Premium package is here to serve you with top notch analysis, actionable news and in-depth data. Please let us know how we’re doing and drop me a line at mkady@politico.com.

This will be the last Pro Premium Weekly of the year, and we’ll be back with the new Congress on Jan. 3. Have a happy holiday and a safe New Year!

Martin Kady II
Editorial Director, POLITICO Pro

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MUST-READ EXPLAINERS

Who’s getting earmarks in the NDAA — Thirty-one representatives have secured almost $1 billion in earmarks for projects in their districts in the 2023 NDAA. The House and Senate Armed Services Committee released text on a joint agreement on the NDAA on Dec. 6, which included a list of earmarked projects for representatives. That list is topped by Rep. Don Bacon (R-Neb.), who secured $235 million for Offutt Air Force Base, south of Omaha, Neb. — the most for any project on the list.

And here’s what’s coming up:
— Round-up of abortion legislation passed this year, by state

ANALYSIS YOU NEED TO START YOUR WEEK

What you need to know about the Renewable Fuel Standard — The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing increases in biofuel blending volumes for the next three years under the Renewable Fuel Standard, the federal program that requires a minimum volume of renewable fuel be blended into the nation’s transportation fuel each year.

A graphic shows how the renewable fuel standard program works.
Madi Alexander, POLITICO Data & Graphics

And here’s what’s coming up:
— What you need to know about defense policy in the new Congress
— What you need to know about rail labor talks

WE TRACK BILLS SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO

House moves to extend government funding through Dec. 23 — House Appropriations Chair Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) released on Dec. 13 a short-term continuing resolution, extending government funding through Dec. 23 and providing lawmakers with additional time to complete their negotiations on fiscal year 2023 appropriations.

Lawmakers have floated several options to keep the government funded in lieu of a broader fiscal 2023 spending deal, with Senate Republican leaders threatening to back a continuing resolution into early next year and Democrats offering a year-long stopgap as an alternative.

With a bipartisan agreement close at hand and legislative text largely written, lawmakers could be on track to clear the government funding package just before the holidays. But timing is extremely tight and a number of pitfalls could complicate passage in both chambers, including a host of unrelated policy provisions that members will push to include before the start of the next Congress in January.

More from Pro Bill Analysis:
Mammoth defense policy bill nears finish line

And here’s what’s coming up:
S. 1143: No TikTok on Government Devices Act
— Omnibus funding bill

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