Rule XLIV of the Standing Rules of the Senate requires public disclosure of congressionally directed spending items (commonly known as “earmarks”). The rule defines a “congressionally directed spending item” as a provision in a bill or report that—
(1) is included primarily at the request of a Senator;
(2) provides, authorizes, or recommends a specific amount of discretionary budget authority, credit authority, or other spending authority for a contract, loan, loan guarantee, grant, loan authority, or other expenditure; and
(3) is for an entity, or targeted to a specific State, locality or Congressional district, other than through a statutory or administrative formula-driven or competitive award process.
The rule requires any Senator who requests a congressionally directed spending item in any bill, joint resolution, committee report accompanying a bill or joint resolution, conference report, or joint statement of the managers accompanying a conference to provide a written statement to the chairman and ranking member of the committee of jurisdiction, stating—
(1) the name of the Senator;
(2) the name and location of the intended recipient or the intended location of the activity;
(3) the purpose of the item; and
(4) a certification that neither the Senator nor the Senator’s immediate family has a pecuniary interest in the item.
The rule requires the Committee of jurisdiction to make available for public inspection on the Internet any certification it receives from a Senator requesting a congressionally directed spending item that neither the Senator nor the Senator’s immediate family has a pecuniary interest in the item.
In addition, the rule requires the Committee of jurisdiction to identify congressionally directed spending items either in the committee report containing the item or accompanying the bill or joint resolution containing the item, or on a congressional website.