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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