The Senate has overwhelmingly rejected a conservative Republican measure that would have temporarily banned lawmakers from earmarking spending bills with provisions for state-sponsored projects, such as roads or grants for local governments, the Associated Press (AP) reports. The final vote was 68-29 in favor of disallowing the moratorium on earmarks.
The Senate’s dismissal of prohibiting earmarks comes only a few days after the House implemented two separate, partisan bans on excess spending. Last week, Democratic House leaders announced an indefinite restriction on budget earmarks to for-profit entities.
One day later, House Republicans trumped the Democrats’ pledge by vowing to eliminate all earmarking for at least one full year.
"Republicans took an important step toward showing the American people we’re serious about reform by adopting an immediate, unilateral ban on all earmarks," said House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio).
"But the more difficult battle lies ahead, and that’s stopping the spending spree in Washington that is saddling our children and grandchildren with trillions of dollars in debt," he added.
Meanwhile, some Democrats have criticized the decision to temporarily prohibit earmarking, including Representative Mark Schauer (D-Mich.), who referred to the move a simple attempt to score "cheap political points," according to WHMI.com.