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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: January 5, 2017 02:43 PM
From: Representative Mark Longietti
To: All House members
Subject: Resolution Memorializing Congress to Return “Orphan” Transportation Earmarks to the States
I invite your co-sponsorship of a resolution memorializing the U.S. Congress to pass legislation cancelling “orphan” transportation earmarks, and returning these funds to the states.

Orphan transportation earmarks are funds which Congress allocated for state transportation projects, but which have never been spent because the projects are not viable. In some cases, these “orphan” earmarks are over 20 years old and the sponsoring member has either died or retired. The monies are unspent because there was a mistake in the project description, the earmarked funds are grossly insufficient to fund the project, the project has been scuttled, the project started before the earmark was approved, funds were left over after the project was completed, or some similar reason.

Over $13 billion in transportation earmarks approved since 1991 remain unspent. In many cases, these earmarks reduced the states’ share of federal highway funds because they were inserted in transportation bills. Pennsylvania has lost an estimated $392 million in such funds, which could be used to supplement existing state funding. We need to send a clear message to Congress to return these orphan transportation earmarks to the states and to pressure them to act.

Please join me in sponsoring this important legislation.

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Introduced as HR124