Center for Political Awareness

Tom Cole Eyes Axing HUD Earmarks for Nonprofit Organizations

Potential ban would cover earmarks for nonprofits under the Economic Development Initiative grant program.

Photo: House Appropriations Chairman Tom Cole, R-Okla., arrives for a Defense Appropriations Subcommittee hearing in the Rayburn building on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

House Republicans are weighing a change to their congressional earmark guidelines that would put another major dent in House lawmakers’ ability to secure funding for social services programs in their districts, sources familiar with the discussions said.

New House Appropriations Chairman Tom Cole, R-Okla., is considering blocking nonprofits from receiving earmarks under the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Economic Development Initiative grant program.

So-called EDIs, which receive grants out of HUD’s Community Development Fund, accounted for the largest single source of earmarks in fiscal 2024 at nearly $3.3 billion. The HUD projects grew in popularity with House lawmakers last year particularly after then-House Appropriations Chairwoman Kay Granger, R-Texas, banned Labor-HHS-Education earmarks entirely from her chamber’s bill.

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