But those who availed themselves appeared unconcerned with appearances. Second in securing dollars was Mr. Graham, who brought home $361 million. In a statement, he challenged anyone who had an issue with one of his earmarks to take it up with him directly, noting that each was posted on his website.
“Every person will be able to judge for themselves if these are worthwhile requests,” he said.
Winning earmarks did not necessarily translate into support for the spending measure, particularly in the House, where it was split into two sections, defense and nondefense, and two separate votes were held.
Representative Elise Stefanik of New York, the No. 3 Republican, who claimed just under $35 million, voted against some of her own projects when she opposed the nondefense portion of the bill, which she said was filled with “far-left, partisan provisions.” Representative Mark Pocan, Democrat of Wisconsin, who secured $45 million, voted against the defense part of the legislation, which included an earmark he had helped secure; a spokesman said he did so because he opposed increasing military spending.
On the other side of the Capitol, Senator Bill Cassidy, Republican of Louisiana, secured $104 million in earmarks but still voted against the spending package, citing its omission of disaster aid for his state.
In the House, Representative James E. Clyburn of South Carolina, the No. 3 Democrat, said the funds he secured — nearly $44 million — included money to provide clean drinking water to poorer parts of his district.
“Nobody gives a damn about trying to make life better for these people — we’ve got communities where nobody can drink the water or can bathe in the water,” Mr. Clyburn said. “What are we going to do about it? And that’s what these projects are.”
Other lawmakers said they had gone to great lengths to ensure that the projects they funded would benefit as much of their state as possible.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Democrat of New York, said she and her staff stuck pins in a state map to make sure there was a fair distribution of projects across counties and small towns.
“We wanted to visually really confirm that no part of the state was left out,” said Ms. Gillibrand, who secured about $231 million.
Representative Cheri Bustos, an Illinois Democrat who is retiring at the end of the year, brought home one of the highest dollar figures for …….