The GOP's plan to significantly cut Federal spending has gained steam due to a wave of defections by Senate Democrats.
On March 9, a total of 11 Democrats voted against a bill backed by Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) that would have cut $6 billion from the budget for the remainder of fiscal year 2011. However, the Republican measure to slash $57 billion also failed to pass, which means that lawmakers will head back to the bargaining table.
The government is currently operating on a temporary spending extension that is set to expire on March 18. Many Tea Party supporters believe that the Republican proposal doesn't cut enough, while many liberals claim that the GOP-backed budget could cripple economic growth. However, the latest votes in the Senate reveal a divide among Democrats.
"Eleven Senate Democrats just voted against their leadership’s proposal,” said Michael Steel, spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), quoted by The Hill. "The bill supported by Senator Reid…proved less popular than the 'draconian' House Republican proposal in the Democrat-controlled Senate."
According to The Associated Press, Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) said her party's cuts were not enough, while Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) condemned the entire process, accusing legislative leaders of pushing partisan proposals that they know will fail.