SPRINGFIELD, Pennsylvania (CNN) – Sen. John McCain charged Friday that the Senate was ignoring the will of the people when it rejected a one-year moratorium on earmarks that he had co-sponsored.
The Senate voted 71-29 against the ban late Thursday night.
“There’s only one place left in America that they don’t get it,” McCain told a town hall gathering outside Philadelphia, referring to Washington. “Pork-barrel spending is out of control and Americans want it stopped.”
He added that the result “is an interesting commentary on how the Congress and the Senate [are] disconnected from the American people.”
McCain returned to the Senate for the first time in a month to cast his ballot for an issue that is one of his central themes on the campaign trail.
Of the 29 votes in favor of the measure, six were from Democrats, including rivals Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. McCain accused both Democrats of wasting hundreds of millions of taxpayers' dollars in earmarks.
“The first thing they can do if they’re against the earmarks is ask that the money that they’ve gotten, the hundreds of millions they’ve gotten in pork-barrel projects not be spent. A lot of that money’s not spent [yet],” said McCain.
The Arizona senator prides himself on having never requested an earmark for his state.