Earmarks' Last Hurrah: Bill Stuffed With $8B

John McCain, others speak out against spending bill
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 15, 2010 8:31 AM CST
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington Thursday, Dec. 2, 2010.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

(Newser) – Well, don’t say goodbye to earmarks just yet: A $1.2 trillion spending bill released yesterday has more than 6,000 earmarks—adding up to $8 billion. "The American people said just 42 days ago, 'Enough!' … Are we tone deaf? Are we stricken with amnesia?" asked John McCain as he flipped through the bill. Among the projects that could benefit: swine waste management, a rural Iowa school program, a genetic technology center, a rural research park, and a study of port dredging.

Some earmark opponents, including Mitch McConnell, have pet projects on the bill—and with this being their last chance to spend before the Senate tightens its belt, many stopped short of asking for those projects to be removed, the Washington Post reports. The bill could be voted on as soon as tomorrow. At least seven Senate Democrats are seen as unlikely to support the bill, and the White House has not backed it. Click for more on the GOP’s trouble letting go of earmarks.

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