Senate Rejects Proposal to Ban Earmarks

The ban on earmarks only gets 39 votes in the Senate

The Senate on Tuesday rejected a proposed ban on the pet spending projects known as earmarks that have become a symbol of wasteful spending for many voters.

Momentum to curtail earmarks had been growing in Congress after Republicans won big in the November 2 elections amid widespread concerns about government spending.

But the proposed earmark ban only picked up 39 votes in the Senate, far short of the 67 it needed to advance in the 100-seat chamber. Fifty-six senators voted against the ban.

Republicans in both the House and the Senate have adopted a voluntary earmark ban, but their unity will be tested as eight broke with their party to vote against giving that ban the force of law and several have indicated that they may continue to seek earmarks next year