Entries in Spending Proposals (1)


As Gov't Shutdown Looms, Senate Shoots Down Dueling Spending Proposals

Comstock Images/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- With only a little over a week to go before the government could shut down, the Senate on Wednesday shot down dueling spending proposals from each party.

The votes were merely symbolic since the two sides are $50 billion apart in proposed cuts.

Democrats denounced the Republican bill to make $57 billion in cuts as "reckless," "extreme," and "one of the worst pieces of legislation ever drafted in the history of this Congress," arguing that it would slash hundreds of thousands of jobs and stall the country's ongoing economic recovery.

The House-passed GOP bill was defeated in the Senate by a vote of 44-56. The vote was strictly along party lines -- Democrats against, Republicans in favor -- except for three Tea Party Republicans: Jim DeMint of South Carolina, Mike Lee of Utah and Rand Paul of Kentucky.

Republicans countered that the Democrats' plan to make $4.7 billion in cuts is "unacceptable," "indefensible," and showing that they are "in denial" about the nation's soaring deficits, especially in the wake of a report this week that the government last month racked up an all-time record deficit of $223 billion.

That bill was also defeated, 42-58. Eleven Democrats broke with their party to oppose the measure: Herb Kohl of Wisconsin, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Ben Nelson of Nebraska, Bill Nelson of Florida, Mark Udall of Colorado, Michael Bennet of Colorado, Jim Webb of Virginia, Carl Levin of Michigan, Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kay Hagan of North Carolina.

Both bills were attempts to fund the remaining six months of the current fiscal year.

Ultimately, Wednesday's votes in the Senate were exercises in futility since neither Democrats, with their 53-seat majority, nor Republicans, with their 47-seat minority, had nearly enough votes to reach the chamber's 60-vote threshold. But that was sort of the point -- now that the votes are over, the bipartisan negotiations involving congressional leaders and representatives from the Obama administration are expected to resume.

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