Well, this is really no surprise. Despite the support of John McCain, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, all of whom returned to Washington for the vote, the Senate overwhelmingly rejected a one-year ban on earmarks. Only 29 senators voted in favor of the measure.
Earmarks are the primary way our congressmen and women bring home the bacon to their states and districts. They claim that congressionally directed spending (the fancy name for the practice) is necessary to make sure their constituents do not get forgotten by Washington bureaucrats. There is something to that argument but it doesnâ€™t hide the fact that earmarks also create systematic overspending. There need to be stronger prohibitions on their use but as long as voters keep rewarding their senators and representatives for brining in pork barrel projects, earmark measures will not pass. Few elected officials are going to willingly remove one of the key methods used to secure voter support and win reelection.
Ultimately, the vote yesterday was a nice showpiece for the three presidential candidates but the meassure never had a chance.