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Republicans are insisting on spending cuts, while Democrats want to see tax increases included.

Republicans defended their decision to bring a doomed bill to the floor in order to send a signal to the White House.

And message-sending votes have become standard for Congress this year, particularly in the Senate, where Majority Leader Harry Reid has used the tactic to try to put certain legislation out of bounds.

Last week, Mr. Reid, Nevada Democrat, forced a vote to reject House Republicans’ 2012 budget, defeating it 57-40.

Senate Democrats have not written their own budget — which the GOP said marked the first time in history that the chamber has brought the House budget to the floor without having their own alternative — but Mr. Reid wanted to draw a line putting the House plan, with its proposed changes to Medicare, off the table.

Republicans responded by forcing a vote on Mr. Obama’s own budget, submitted in February, which the Senate rejected 97-0.

Earlier this year, Mr. Reid held another vote on a House spending plan for 2011 in order to prove that the upper chamber didn’t have the votes to pass the $61 billion in spending cuts the GOP was seeking.

Dave Boyer contributed to this article.