Business

Senate shuns push for elimination of pet projects

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has rejected a GOP bid to ban the practice of larding spending bills with earmarks — those pet projects that lawmakers love to send home to their states.

Democrats and a handful of Republicans combined to defeat the effort, which would have effectively forbidden the Senate from considering legislation containing earmarks like road and bridge projects, community development funding, grants to local police departments and special-interest tax breaks.

Earlier this month, Republicans bowed to tea party activists and passed a party resolution declaring GOP senators would give up earmarks. House Republicans have also given up the practice, but most Democrats say the earmarks are a legitimate way to direct taxpayer money to their constituents.