March Earmark Madness Tournament: Voting Elimination Of Shameful 16 Most Egregious Private Company Benefiting Senator Pet Projects Earmarked For Spending Bill Additions

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Dr. Rand Paul Announces 2024 March Earmark Madness Tournament

A Tournament Consisting of 16 of the Most Egregious Earmarks in the $1.2 Trillion Spending Bill Being Considered by Congress

Editor’s note: We’ve previously covered this issue when Sen. Paul first sounded the alarm on the extremely high number of earmarks attached to the latest spending bill. These earmarks are using taxpayer dollars to fund pet projects of senators benefiting large, in many cases very profitable, private and often for-profit companies. 

Here is what the senator said about the tournament on Twitter. Presumably, voting takes place in the comments: “Tomorrow, I’m launching the 2024 March Earmark Madness Tournament! YOU decide which earmarks advance and the ‘champion’ earmark, deemed the most wasteful of all, will be announced at the end of the tournament.”

WASHINGTON, D.C.  U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) announced his 2024 March Earmark Madness Tournament consisting of 16 of the most egregious earmarks in the $1.2 trillion spending bill being considered by Congress this week. These “Shameful 16,” which spend Americans’ hard-earned tax-payer dollars on individual Senators’ pet projects, were chosen amongst more than 1,400 earmarks detailed over 1,000 pages released just one day before leadership in both parties will force a vote on the deal.


Below are the Shameful 16:

  • $2M to the University of Maine for the construction of a kelp and shellfish nursery
  • $388K to Columbia University in New York, a private university with a $13.6 billion endowment
  • $1.5M to Game On New York to expand the gaming industry
  • $1.7M for wind energy workforce education and training in New York
  • $250K for the Byrd Center for Congressional History and Education Archives in West Virginia
  • $1.5M for economic and business development training for lobstering in Maine
  • $249K for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
  • $85K to a public school district in Connecticut to increase school attendance
  • $1.1M for a food incubator project in Delaware
  • $1M granted to SAGE, an elderly LGBTQ+ advocacy group in New York for “cultural competency” training for medical staff
  • $150K to CitySeed, Inc., in Connecticut for a culinary training program
  • $250K for Tech2Market in Delaware, a program aiding in early-stage clean energy startups
  • $350K for the Harlem Arts Alliance in New York
  • $1.7M to Martha’s Vineyard Hospital
  • $500K to the San Diego Zoo for a student biodiversity corps program
  • $1M for the Cambridge Massachusetts Community Center to install solar panels so they can operate “off the grid”

You can find a 2024 March Earmark Madness Tournament bracket HERE or below.

Credit – Sen. Paul

The 2024 March Earmark Madness Tournament will have four single elimination rounds that take place via Dr. Paul’s X account on Friday, March 22, starting at 9 a.m. ET. Follow along and vote @SenRandPaul.

Banner Image: March Madness logo.  Image Credit – Jacob Rice


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