“Now that it has been defeated, Republicans have no excuses left. It’s time for them to work with us to on a responsible, long-term solution that funds our government for the rest of the year, makes responsible cuts and safeguards our fragile economic recovery,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat.
Sen. Charles E. Grassley instead saw a message for Mr. Reid.
“Today’s votes emphasize that there are no more excuses for the Senate majority leader,” the Iowa Republican said. “His proposal for a mere $4.7 billion in spending reductions is clearly not credible. It’s time for the majority party in the Senate to get real about the federal budget and lead an effort to pass meaningful spending reductions.”
In the meantime, House Republicans signaled this week that they’ll begin work on another short-term spending bill to keep the government open should a bill not pass by March 18. But Mr. Reid said Tuesday that he doesn’t want to continue funding the government in short bursts.
The House passed its bill on the strength of Republican votes, but only after a week of open debate, during which more than 100 amendments received recorded votes.
By contrast, the Senate — usually the more open chamber — has held a closed debate, and no amendments were allowed during Wednesday’s debate.
Of the 14 senators who voted against both plans, some opposed any cuts, while others thought neither plan went deep enough.
“We’re spending money we don’t have, borrowing more than 40 cents of every dollar we spend,” said Sen. Jim DeMint, South Carolina Republican, who opposed both options on the table. “Republicans need to fight to balance the budget in five years, and this plan doesn’t do that.”
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