For local governments, higher education institutions, development authorities and other public entities the final months of 2021 is the right time to best position yourself to receive future federal funding. McGuireWoods Consulting is uniquely positioned to help you create and implement a strategy to secure federal funds for 2022 and beyond.

Earmarks are Back in Congress

In 2021, Congressional leaders announced the return of earmarks after a decade-long moratorium. Consequentially, a diverse set of public entities were granted license to petition individual lawmakers for government funding, in amounts ranging from $50k to as high as the tens of millions. This year’s combined earmarks totaled $3.7 billion.

Examples of Entities Receiving Earmarks in 2021

  • County Commissions
  • Hospitals
  • Local Transportation Departments
  • City Governments
  • Housing Authorities
  • Community Colleges
  • Fire, EMS Departments
  • Aquariums
  • Sheriffs’ Offices
  • School Districts
  • Community Centers
  • Rehabilitation Centers
  • Landscape Restoration Projects
  • State Universities
  • Health Centers
  • Family Services Providers

Additional Funding Opportunities

Public entities may also access government funds via two forthcoming legislative packages, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill and the budget reconciliation bill, also called the Build Back Better Act. Though negotiations remain ongoing, conservative estimates place the combined spending value of these bills above $3 trillion.

This funding will undergo a significant rule- and distribution-making process within federal agencies following Congressional approval. As with earmarks, public entities most likely to receive funding are those with early and sustained engagement with federal agencies.

Yet another opportunity for public entities to receive government funding is the $1.9 billion American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), passed in March 2021. Large amounts of this funding remain unspent and allocation rules were altered as recently as Oct. 19, 2021 to expand the number of qualifying entities. Further federal engagement from stakeholders may yield additional funding opportunities for public entities.


To receive an earmark, an entity must submit funding requests to individual Congressional offices during the January – March timeframe. Each office will have its own unique process and strategy for soliciting, approving, and submitting the Congressional Member’s “wish list” of projects. This is a competitive process and Congressional offices receive hundreds of requests. Funding requests most likely to succeed are those submitted early, strategically crafted to fit the political and policy landscape, and accentuated through sustained Congressional engagement.


Scott Binkley
Vice President
202 857 2921

Clayton Cox
Vice President
202 857 2926