The Senate just voted down a binding two-year ban on earmarks by a 39-56 margin. The tally was largely along party lines, but an interesting pattern emerged: six of the eight Republicans who voted against the ban were on the Appropriations Committee; all of the Democrats who voted for it are from swing states, many of whom will face the voters in the next two elections. The latter group also included Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, who was defeated for reelection, and Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana, who declined to run again.
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