Published On: March 22, 20233.3 min read654 words

U.S. Senate Congressionally Directed Spending for FY24: New Federal Funding to Help Prevent + End Youth Homelessness
$1.4 trillion in discretionary spending annually

The U.S. Senate has released guidance and deadlines for Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 congressionally directed spending (the new earmarks) with the Department of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education deadline on May 25th.  

If you haven’t already done so, reach out to your U.S. Senators now in order to meet this deadline. These are the reforms and regulations and here is the Senate guidance.  Please note the following:

  • Not all U.S. Senators will submit Congressionally Directed Spending, so be sure to reach out to your U.S. Reps immediately. 
  • U.S. Senate offices may have deadlines this month or in April, so reach out now! 
  • There is no guarantee that any of the new earmark money will make it across the appropriations finish line, given the political differences between the House and Senate. 

Criteria Used to Evaluate Congressionally Directed Spending Requests:

  • Transparency:
    • Members are required to post every request online simultaneously with their submission to the Appropriations Committee. 
    • The Appropriations Committee will release the list of projects funded before the full committee votes on the legislation.
    • Members must certify that they, their spouse, and their immediate family have no financial interest in the projects they request.
  • Ban on For-Profit Recipients:
    • Members may not direct funding to for-profit grantees. Members may request funding for State or local governmental grantees and for eligible non-profits.
  • Cap on Overall Funding:
    • “Community Project Funding” may constitute no more than 1 percent of discretionary spending.
  • Demonstrated community support: 
    • Members must provide evidence of community support that were compelling factors in their decision to select the requested projects.
  • Request in Writing:
    • Members requesting Community Project Funding must do so in writing including the name and location of the intended recipient, and the purpose of the spending item.

Our Recommendations for Preparing Strong Funding Requests:

This funding will favor projects from state and local governments and nonprofits. Members of Congress will be more eager to back (and highly rank) projects with: 1) strong local support, 2) well-documented potential benefits, and 3) are as close to “ready to start” as possible. There is no perfect project and reaching out to work closely with your representative is critical. Things to consider:

Practicalities: What is the project’s timeline? Is the project ready to begin, and if not, what further steps are needed? What are the documented public safety, health, or educational benefits of the project? Are there any trade-offs in investing in this project versus others in the region?

Economics: How many and what kinds of jobs does the project create, and for how long? What is the regional economic benefit of the project? What is the estimated impact on the local tax base? Is the project located in a disadvantaged or underserved area, or will it support an underserved population? 

Politics: How much are non-federal entities (such as state and local governments, private donors, or other funders) contributing to the project? Do regional local governments, businesses, and residents support the project? Do other members of Congress support the project

Identify and develop champions: Beyond preparing a strong proposal, applicants will boost their bids for an earmark by securing bipartisan and bicameral congressional champions willing to put their name to these proposals. For larger regional projects, your pool of potential champions only grows.

Prepare for the long haul: The earmark and appropriations process is a year-long cycle, requiring months of advocating and pushing to maximize your chances for success. Having a strong local group of supporters of your project willing to advocate will help. You can keep pushing through grassroots advocacy, committee-level outreach, and appealing to leadership.

NN4Y members that would like assistance accessing this new funding stream should email Also, reach out to your Senators immediately for a meeting if you have not already done so.