Senate shuns push for elimination of lawmakers’ pet projects

WHAT: By a nearly 3-2 margin, the Senate voted to let lawmakers keep sprinkling bills with earmarks, or home-state pet projects like roads, bridges, water-treatment plants, grants to local police departments and special-interest tax breaks. Critics say peppering most bills with hundreds or even thousands of special-interest projects creates a go-along-get-along mindset that ensures that Washington spending goes unchecked.

WHY IT’S OUTRAGEOUS: Estimates vary, but earmarks went from more than 1,300 projects worth nearly $8 billion in 1994 to a peak of nearly 14,000 projects worth more than $27 billion in 2005, according to Citizens Against Government Waste, a watchdog group that opposes the practice.

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