Senate rejects rival Democratic, GOP budgets


WASHINGTON (AP) — The Democratic-led Senate today emphatically rejected a budget-slashing House spending bill as too draconian.

It then immediately killed a rival Democratic plan that was derided by moderate Democrats as too timid in its drive to cut day-to-day agency budgets.

The votes to scuttle the competing measures were designed, ironically, to prompt progress. The idea was to show tea party-backed GOP conservatives in the House that they need to pare back their budget-cutting ambitions while at the same time demonstrating to Democratic liberals that they need to budge, too.

"I still think there are way too many people in denial around here about the nature of the problem and how serious it is," said Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., who contended that the Democratic plan didn't go far enough.

But she said the GOP measure cut too indiscriminately in its funding for infrastructure programs, education and research.

The GOP plan mustered 44 aye votes; the Democratic measure received just 42 votes, with 10 party members and liberal independent Bernard Sanders in opposition.

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