Senators voted down a bipartisan proposal to permanently ban earmarks as well as an amendment to require lawmakers and senior staff to divest of stocks or put their stock holdings in blind trusts.
The amendment sponsored by Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) to permanently ban earmarks failed by a vote of 40-59.
A solid block of Republicans, including Sens. Lamar Alexander (Tenn.), Roy Blunt (Mo.), Thad Cochran (Miss.), Susan Collins (Maine), John Hoeven (N.D.), Kay Bailey Hutchison (Texas), James Inhofe (Okla.), Dick Lugar (Ind.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), Pat Roberts (Kan.), Jeff Sessions (Ala.), Richard Shelby (Ala.) and Roger Wicker (Miss.), voted to preserve Congress’s future power to earmark federal funds.