Senate rejects McCain amendment to limit funds to trade program

The Senate voted 44-55 Tuesday evening against an amendment from Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) that would have ended federal aid aimed at helping companies become more competitive compared to overseas companies.

McCains amendment was to a Senate spending bill for 2012 that could be approved by the end of this week.

During brief debate, McCain noted that the Trade Adjustment Assistance program currently allows grants to companies of up to $75,000, which can be used to hire consultants to become more competitive. But he noted studies showing that these consultants are overpriced, and added that the Obama administration also favors ending the program.