Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Senate rejects McCain's bid to strip 8,000 earmarks

WASHINGTON — Members of both parties Monday voted to keep their cherished home- state projects as the Senate resumed debate on a spending bill covering foreign-aid and domestic-agency budgets.

By a 63-32 vote, lawmakers rejected a bid by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., to effectively strip about 8,000 of those earmarks from the $410 billion measure.

Democratic leaders had hoped to pass the measure last week, but Republicans withheld the votes required to clear an important procedural hurdle. They insisted on the right to offer additional amendments. Now, it's anticipated the measure will pass today.

Democrats stand poised to defeat all amendments because they don't want the measure to return to the House for a further vote.