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Senate Democratic leader Richard L. Saslaw, of Fairfax, said recently there are not yet the 21 votes necessary in the Senate to approve a budget. And Sen. L. Louise Lucas, Portsmouth Democrat, was so incensed during a debate over a bill on teachers’ contracts in a committee meeting that she threw her proxy votes at the committee’s chairman, Sen. Stephen H. Martin, Chesterfield Republican, and stormed out of the room.

Mr. McDonnell is downplaying the differences between the parties, pointing out that last year’s budget won a unanimous vote.

“I’ve talked to many, many Democrats and many, many Republicans in groups [and] one-on-one,” he said. “People will ultimately do the right thing.”