Congressionally Directed Spending

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy on April 26, 2021, announced that Congress would restore – on a bipartisan basis – the authority to approve congressionally-directed spending items with enhanced transparency and accountability.

Please note:

    • All projects must meet the relevant statutory and administrative criteria for funding through the grant program under which it is submitted.
      o A request submitted to Senator Heinrich does NOT guarantee the project will be selected.
      o The selection of a project does NOT guarantee it will be funded by the Appropriations Committee.
      o The Committee will NOT provide cost-share waivers and grantees are legally responsible for meeting the non-federal cost share requirements and all other applicable grant criteria.

Please note that any requests may be posted publicly in accordance with Rule XLIV of the Standing Rules of the Senate, which requires rigorous procedures for transparency and accountability.




Only state and local government entities, public institutions, and non-profit entities are eligible to submit and receive funding through CDS. Funding cannot be directed to for-profit entities and will not include waivers for State or local match requirements. While matching funds do not have to be in-hand prior to the request, requesting entities must have a plan to meet such requirements for the project to be viable. Additionally, each submission must be for FY2022 only and cannot include multi-year funding requests.


Discriptions of eligible accounts can be found here.

Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration

  • Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) (S&E)
  • Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Conservation Operations
  • Watershed and Flood Prevention Operations (WFPO)
  • Rural Development, Community Facilities grants
  • Rural Development, Distance Learning, Telemedicine, and Broadband Program (DLT) grants

Commerce, Justice, Science (CJS)

  • Department of Commerce; National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST); Scientific and Technical Research Services (STRS); External Projects
  • Department of Commerce; NIST; Construction of Research Facilities
  • Department of Commerce; National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA); Operations, Research, and Facilities (ORF); Special Projects
  • Department of Justice; Office on Justice Programs; State and Local Law Enforcement Assistance; Byrne Discretionary
  • Department of Justice; Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS); COPS Law Enforcement Technology
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration; Safety, Security and Mission Support

Energy and Water Development

  • Corps of Engineers: Investigations
  • Corps of Engineers: Construction
  • Corps of Engineers: Operation & Maintenance
  • Corps of Engineers: Mississippi Rivers & Tributaries
  • Bureau of Reclamation: Water and Related Resources
  • Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)
  • Office of Electricity (OE)
  • Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response (CESER)
  • Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
  • Office of Fossil Energy (FE)

Financial Services and General Government (FSGG)

  • Small Business Administration, Administrative Provision
  • National Archives and Records Administration, National Historical Publications and Records Commission
  • National Archives and Records Administration, Repair and Restoration
  • General Services Administration, Federal Buildings Fund, Construction and Acquisition

Homeland Security

  • Federal Emergency Management Agency Pre-Disaster Mitigation Projects
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency Emergency Operations Center Grant Program

Interior and Environment

  • WWI: EPA, State and Tribal Assistance Grants, Water and Wastewater Infrastructure
  • HPF: NPS, Historic Preservation Fund
  • SPF: USFS, State and Private Forestry, Forest Resource Information and Analysis
  • Land Management Agencies, Local Projects and Research
    • BLM, Management of Land and Resources, Habitat Management Prioritieso
    • NPS, National Recreation and Preservation, Statutory and Contractual Aid
    • FWS, Resource Management, Stewardship Priorities
    • USGS, Surveys Investigations and Research, Status and Trends
  • BIA, Operation of Indian Programs, Special Initiatives
  • EPA, Science and Technology, Research: National Priorities
  • EPA, State and Tribal Assistance Grants, STAG Infrastructure Grants

Labor, Health and Human Services, Education (LHHS)

  • Department of Labor—Employment and Training Administration—Training and Employment Services
  • Department of Health and Human Services—Health Resources and Services Administration—Program Management
  • Department of Health and Human Services—Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration—Health Surveillance and Program Support
  • Department of Health and Human Services—Administration for Children and Families— Children and Families Services Programs
  • Department of Health and Human Services—Administration for Community Living—Aging and Disability Services Programs
  • Department of Education— Innovation and Improvement—Fund for the Improvement of Education
  • Department of Education—Rehabilitation Services—Demonstration and Training
  • Department of Education—Higher Education—Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education

Military Construction, Veterans Affairs (MilCon/VA)

  • Army
  • Navy and Marine Corps
  • Air Force
  • Defense-Wide
  • Army National Guard
  • Air National Guard
  • Army Reserve
  • Navy Reserve
  • Air Force Reserve

Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development (THUD)

  • Transportation Planning, Research, and Development (TPR&D)
  • Grants-in-Aid for Airports (Airport Improvement Program or AIP)
  • Highway Infrastructure Program (HIP)
  • Transit Infrastructure Grants (TIG)
  • Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvement (CRISI) Grants
  • Community Development Fund, Economic Development Initiatives



The Appropriations Committee also announced the following requirements for congressionally directed spending items:

Existing Requirements: In reviewing member requests for congressionally directed spending items, the Senate Appropriations Committee will implement Rule XLIV of the Standing Rules of the Senate. Rule XLIV, requires rigorous procedures for accountability and transparency, such as:

    • No Member Financial Interest: The rules forbid any member from pursuing a congressionally directed spending item to further his or her financial interest, or that of his or her immediate family. Each member requesting a congressionally directed spending item must certify in writing that there is no such interest and make that certification available to the public.
    • Request in Writing: Any member requesting a congressionally directed spending item must do so in writing, including the Member’s name, the name and location of the intended recipient, and the purpose of the spending item.
    • Committee Consideration: When reporting legislation containing congressionally directed spending items, the Committee is required to make each item publicly available online in a searchable format as soon as practicable after the mark up (including the name of each Member requesting the item).
    • Disclosure Before Floor Consideration: The rules prohibit a vote on a motion to proceed to a bill or a vote on adoption of a conference report, unless the chair of the committee, certifies that a complete list of congressionally directed spending items has been publicly available for at least 48 hours.
    • Point of Order Against New Projects in Conference Reports: A point of order may be raised against a provision of the conference report if it includes a congressionally directed spending item that was not included in either the House or Senate bills.

Reforms: In addition to these important requirements, rules for congressionally directed spending items will be further enhanced with reforms that will:

    • Institute a 1 percent cap on discretionary spending for congressionally directed spending items;
    • Ban congressionally directed spending items to for-profit entities;
    • Require Senators to post online their congressionally directed spending item requests, as well as their financial certification disclosures attesting that they do not have any financial interest in any of the items requested; and
    • Require the Government Accountability Office to audit a sample of enacted congressionally directed spending items and report its findings to Congress.



Please note that any congressionally directed spending requests are for informational purposes only and are not an application for federal funding. Submission of such requests does not constitute a binding commitment on any party nor a guarantee that any organization will be awarded funding from any federal agency through this process. Furthermore, the submission, review, and approval of applications for federal funding will be carried out consistent with federal agency rules and regulations.