A move by House Democrats to place a one-year moratorium on all congressional earmarks is prompting concern among some Texas A&M leaders.
Earmarks are no-bid contracts and grants awarded by individual members of Congress. In recent years, Texas A&M has benefited from the practice.
"If earmarks went away, then this little Health Science Center would have lost two major programs that have been funded over the last several years with what are considered earmarks," said Health Science Center President Dr. Nancy Dickey.
"The congressionally directed funding, often called earmarks, provides a significant amount of resources for programs here in the Brazos Valley and statewide," added William Dugas, Associate Vice Chancellor for Agriculture and Life Sciences. "That funding comes, I might add, from both sides of the aisle, both from the Republicans and Democrats, and it's to the tune of $20 million or so that gets spent here in the Brazos Valley."
Almost $16 billion in earmarks are included in the 12 annual spending bills that funded the federal government this year.