Feingold's anti-pork ammendment fails; Obama spending bill nears a trillion dollars
U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., of Middleton, failed to put a future ban on pork-barrel spending in the Senate's version of the Obama spending bill.
It was voted down 65-32 Thursday.
Wisconsin's other senator, Herb Kohl, D, voted no. Feingold called it disappointing, but he said he would keep rallying against so-called earmarks - the pet projects added to spending bills which a president cannot veto individually.
Feingold said many of his colleagues flip-flopped on their campaign promises to end the earmarking practice. Senate Majority Leader U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., called Feingold's effort "foolish."
Meanwhile, last-minute negotiations continued overnight to reduce the size of the massive Obama spending package - which is now getting close to a trillion dollars. The talks were designed to win votes from those who said the package was too large and would not do enough to stimulate the economy.
There were $90 billion in cuts were being considered. Reid said he would give the negotiators one more day. A final vote on the plan is still set for today (Friday), but Reid says he might call a rare Sunday session if the negotiations look promising.
On the Senate floor Thursday, Kohl said he supported the massive spending despite what he called its "enormous" price tag. Kohl is trying to add $30 million for the Manufacturing Extension Partnership Program, which gives technology advice to small to medium-sized factories.