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Earmark spending falls slightly but exceeds desired limits

While slightly down, earmark spending is still well above the levels deemed acceptable by Obama, according to an analysis by USA Today. "The Senate included $12.6 billion for earmarks in the 12 annual spending bills for 2010, while the House versions contain $9.1 billion, the analysis shows. That's down 9% in the Senate and 13% in the House, compared to the Senate and House bills in 2008 — the last time that Congress enacted separate spending bills." One of Obama's campaign pledges was to return earmarks to "less than $7.8 billion a year, the level they were at before 1994, when Republicans took control of Congress."

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