Capitol Hill

Senate Rejects Earmarks Ban

The GOP earmark ban is dead in the Senate after most Democrats and eight Republicans voted it down. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) spoke on behalf of many Democrats when he argued that earmarks are an important way to get federal funding for local projects. The ban would have forbid the Senate from considering legislation containing funding for road and bridge projects, community development, grants to local police departments, and special-interest tax breaks. Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), the bill’s sponsor, said earmarks create "a conflict of interest that benefits just those we represent from our states or just those who help us become senators.” President Obama is for the ban as well. The bill failed 39-65, garnering more support than earlier this year when it failed 29-68.