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Durbin says congressional funding of individually designated projects is ending

By Associated Press

LAST UPDATED: 3:29 p.m. HST, Jan 26, 2011


The U.S. Senate's second-ranking Democrat is saying the practice of individual senators designating -- or earmarking -- federal spending for their states is at an end.

Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois told The Hill newspaper today that the Republican-led House will not pass spending bills containing earmarks. President Barack Obama on Tuesday warned he will veto measures with earmarks.

Thus, Durbin says, the Senate is "out of the business of earmarks."

If so, that could imperil a cherished practice of U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye of Hawaii.

Inouye, chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, has long defended earmarks as a constitutional prerogative. He once called himself the "No. 1 earmarks guy" in Congress.

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