Senate rejects freeze on earmarks

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Associated Press

Posted on March 16, 2010 at 8:01 PM

Updated Tuesday, Mar 16 at 8:01 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has killed a move by conservative Republicans to temporarily ban the practice of earmarking taxpayer dollars for back-home project for their states.

Fifteen Republicans joined with most Democrats to reject the earmark moratorium by a 68-29 vote.

It's a far different story in the House, where Republicans imposed an earmark ban on party members last week in a bid to demonstrate they are the party of reform. Democrats controlling the House also declared that earmarks can no longer go to for-profit companies.

Defenders of earmarks say it's a legitimate way for lawmakers to exercise Congress' power of the purse. Opponents say they're often wasteful and are a way to win votes for big-spending legislation.

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