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Cole extends earmark deadlines after pushback

House appropriators are extending some deadlines for lawmakers to submit their earmark requests to subcommittees, following protests from members who originally had just a week to get their projects in order before next Friday’s cutoff date.

Members now have until May 10 to submit requests for the Commerce-Justice-Science, Interior and Environment, and Transportation-HUD bills, according to an email sent to the offices by staff Wednesday morning.

The deadline for the Agriculture, Energy-Water, Homeland Security and Military Construction-VA bills remains May 3. Programmatic language requests are also due Friday.

Meeting the deadline for Transportation-HUD had proven particularly difficult, as lawmakers had to overcome a major new obstacle to securing project funding for their districts.

(Lawmakers bristle at nonprofit earmark ban and tight deadline for requests)

House Appropriations Chairman Tom Cole, R-Okla., last week introduced a new ban on nonprofit earmarks under the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Economic Development Initiative grant program.

This significant departure from past policy blocks funding for numerous organizations for which members of both parties had secured funding in previous cycles, from homeless shelters to Christian Young Men’s Associations and Boys & Girls Clubs.

The measure was intended to limit “political” earmarks, Cole said, and Republicans were angry about earmarks that Democrats pushed for last year to help the LGBTQ community.

Some agencies had waited for the guidelines before choosing which projects to submit, and others who had made selections had to edit their lists because of the new rules.

House Appropriations ranking member Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., said Tuesday that members were “confused” and that she had asked for a delay.