Congressionally directed spending, often known as “earmarks,” represents funds specifically directed by members of Congress towards projects or programs in their districts or states.
Senators work with local leaders to identify and advocate for federal funding for various projects to the relevant appropriations subcommittee. Approved projects are included in the appropriations bill, which undergoes a series of reviews and votes in both chambers of Congress to ultimately be signed by the president.
Alabama has the least-tenured delegation to the U.S. Senate, with Sen. Tommy Tuberville having served for just over two years and Sen. Katie Britt since the beginning of this year.
But in the appropriations process so far, Alabama is in seventh place in overall directed spending.
For reference, over the course of a two-year span, the federal dollars in earmarks Sen. Richard Shelby delivered for Alabama in the 117th Congress amounted to $1.2 billion.
Tuberville and Britt released a list of their congressionally directed spending projects being advanced across various 2024 spending bills.
- $1.31 million for the Good Hope Community Center and Storm Shelter
- $2.33 million for the Heflin Police Department Headquarters
- $1.2 million for Ashland Courthouse ADA Compliance Upgrades and Repairs
Commerce, Justice and Science
Public Safety Equipment for Local Law Enforcement:
- $200,000 for Combatting Fentanyl City of Fairhope
- $375,000 for Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University
- $300,000k for Alabama State University
- $400,000 for the Blount County Commission
- $120,000 for the Butler County Commission
- $300,000 for the Chilton County Commission
- $750,000 for the City of Auburn
- $670,000 for the City of Fort Payne
- $190,000 for the City of Millbrook
- $245,000 for the City of Moody
- $185,000k for the City of Oxford
- $612,000 for the City of Pell City
- $500,000 for the City of Russellville
- $495,000 for City of Sheffield
- $150,000 for the City of Trussville
- $325,000 for the City of Tuscumbia
- $250,000 for the Colbert County Sheriff’s Office
- $110,000 for the Cullman County District Attorney’s Office, 32nd Judicial Circuit of Alabama
- $250,000 for the Dallas County Sheriff’s Office
- $200,000 for the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office
- $656,000 for Jacksonville State University
- $185,000 for the Marengo County Commission
- $595,000 for the Morgan County Commission
- $1.2 million for the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office
- $200,000 for the Talladega County Commission
- $150,000 for Troy University
- $4.95 million for Aircraft Parts Storage Facility (Fort Novosel)
- $3.85 million for Hazardous Material Storage Building (Fort Novosel)
- $6.1 million for Ready Building—MEDEVAC (Fort Novosel)
- $5.1 million for Vehicle Maintenance Storage Facility (Fort Novosel)
- $4 million for Access Control Building (Redstone Arsenal)
- $5.5 million for Airport Runway Extension (Overruns) (Redstone Arsenal)
- $4.8 million for Natural Gas Expansion and Meter Station (Redstone Arsenal)
- $5.4 million for Test Area 7 Relocation (Redstone Arsenal)
Energy & Water
- $20.6 million for Apalachicola, Chattahoochee, and Flint rivers (Army Corps of Engineers)
- $4 million for Arab Water Works for Drinking Water System Improvements
- $1.6 million for City of Ashford New Well to Meet Existing Drinking Water Needs
- $2.7 million for Demopolis Storm Shelter
Transportation, Housing and Urban Development
- $4 million for State Road 35 lane improvements (Alabama Department of Transportation)
- $7.7 million for community facility construction (City of Dothan)
Building back Alabama’s seniority on the Senate Appropriations Committee in the footsteps of Sen. Shelby, Britt said she worked closely with local leaders while being responsible with taxpayer dollars to secure wins for the most local of projects across the state.
“I firmly believe that our hard-earned tax dollars should be coming home to our communities, rather than being spent by bureaucrats in the Biden Administration to fund projects in New York and California,” Britt said.
Energy & Water
- $20.6 million to revitalize and repair the George W. Andrews Lock and Dam on the Apalachicola, Chattahoochee, and Flint rivers in Houston County.
- $18.4 million for dredging, maintenance, and operations on the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway.
- $12.1 million for dredging, maintenance, and operations on the Black Warrior and Tombigbee Rivers.
- $11.2 million for dredging, maintenance, and operations in Mobile Harbor.
- $10.5 million for dredging, maintenance, and operations on the Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa River System.
Transportation, Housing and Urban Development
- $20 million for improvements and lane additions on Alabama 167 in Coffee County.
- $3 million for improvements on the Alabama 77 overpass on I-20 in Talladega County.
- $1 million for improvements on County Road 9 in Blount County.
- $4.177 million for apron reconstruction at Cullman Regional Airport.
- $3.6 million for electrical reconstruction at Montgomery Regional Airport.
- $2.9 million for runway improvements at Evergreen Regional Airport.
- $1 million for infrastructure modernization at Birmingport.
- $7.5 million for water infrastructure improvements in the City of Auburn
- $3.4 million for water infrastructure improvements in the City of Lincoln
- $3 million for water infrastructure improvements in the City of Vestavia Hills
Labor, Health and Human Services
- $6.724 million for Tuskegee University to establish an Aviation and Aero Technology Program.
- $3.98 million for the City of Talladega to enable rural emergency medical services (EMS) via ambulance procurement and EMS personnel support.
- $2.6 million for Helen Keller Hospital to procure two emergency generators.
- $2.5 million for Huntsville Hospital Health System to procure 10 ambulances to for EMS in Lauderdale, Colbert, Morgan, Lawrence, Limestone, Madison, Marshall, Blount, Jackson, and Dekalb counties.
- $2.2 million for Troy University to procure equipment to expand the capacity and quality of the School of Nursing.
- $2 million for Atmore Community Hospital to procure critical, lifesaving equipment to care for rural residents.
Commerce, Justice, and Science
- $3 million for the expansion and upgrade of the South Alabama Mesonet, a network of automated weather stations located in Mobile, Baldwin, Escambia, Conecuh, Covington, Coffee, Geneva, and Houston counties, in addition to southeastern Mississippi and northwest Florida.
By securing earmarks, Alabama’s senators can guarantee the Yellowhammer State benefits from federal programs and investments, promoting local projects and initiatives that are crucial for prosperity.
Shelby, in his time as the powerful chairman of the Senate Committee on Appropriations, embodied the view that if these funds aren’t allocated to states like Alabama, they will simply be directed elsewhere.