From NBC's Ken Strickland
Today Sen. John McCain failed in his effort to strip thousands on earmarks from a government funding bill moving through Congress. His amendment would also have reduced the funding for several government departments to last year's lower spending levels.
His amendment failed 63-32, with a simple majority needed for passage. Only two Democrats voted with McCain: Evan Bayh and Claire McCaskill.
There were eight Republicans who voted against McCain, thereby supporting the earmarks and the higher levels of spending. All but one of those Republicans (Snowe) sit on the Senate Appropriations Committee. That panel is tasked with writing the spending bills and are best positioned to add earmarks. Those GOP committee members voting against McCain were Bennett, Bond, Cochran, Collins, Murkowski, Shelby and Specter.