Senate Republicans have killed a plan backed by President Barack Obama to replace $111 billion in government spending cuts this year with a new minimum tax on the wealthy and cuts to defense and farm subsidies that would be slower to strike.
The plan received a 51-49 majority vote but failed in the Senate because 60 votes are required to overcome a GOP-led filibuster.
Republicans object to $55 billion worth of new taxes and urge an alternative that would give Obama greater flexibility to deal with the automatic cuts.
Democrats and tea party Republicans killed the GOPs plan.
The vote comes just a day before the automatic cuts are set to start to take place, yet there was never any hope that the Democratic measure would have passed because it was crafted without GOP input.
Pennsylvania Republican Pat Toomey was a sponsor of the GOP measure. He says it would allow Obama, quote, to "distinguish between more sensible government spending and less sensible spending."
The White House says it instead backs a Democratic measure to replace the cuts with tax hikes on millionaires and spending reductions over 10 years.
The White House says there is no way to cut $85 billion over the remaining seven months of the fiscal year without "drastically affecting national security and economic policies." (AP)
Statement from the President
Today, Republicans in the Senate faced a choice about how to grow our economy and reduce our deficit. And instead of closing a single tax loophole that benefits the well-off and well-connected, they chose to cut vital services for children, seniors, our men and women in uniform and their families. They voted to let the entire burden of deficit reduction fall squarely on the middle class.
I believe we should do better. We should work together to reduce our deficit in a balanced way – by making smart spending cuts and closing special interest tax loopholes. That's exactly the kind of plan Democrats in the Senate have proposed. But even though a majority of Senators support this approach, Republicans have refused to allow it an up-or-down vote – threatening our economy with a series of arbitrary, automatic budget cuts that will cost us jobs and slow our recovery.
Tomorrow I will bring together leaders from both parties to discuss a path forward. As a nation, we can't keep lurching from one manufactured crisis to another. Middle-class families can't keep paying the price for dysfunction in Washington. We can build on the over $2.5 trillion in deficit reduction we've already achieved, but doing so will require Republicans to compromise. That's how our democracy works, and that's what the American people deserve.
Governor Brian Sandoval made the following statement today:
"Though I remain hopeful that federal leaders in Washington can come to the table to find a solution to avoid sequestration, I want my fellow Nevadans to know that I will do everything I can to mitigate the potential effects of sequestration on our state.
"Should sequestration go into effect, we must deal with the real world impacts of the cuts and guide Nevada through this period. Unlike elected officials in Washington, we must take swift action to mitigate the extensive consequences. My Administration started planning for sequestration last summer, knowing we may need a contingency plan should it go into effect. While we have worked to set money aside and have a plan to move forward, there are still some areas of the budget which will be affected.
"What's more, beyond our state budget, Nevada has a large federal presence. So whether you are a rancher who relies on the BLM for grazing permits or a traveler who relies on air traffic controllers, the potential impacts on our state's economy are great.
"We are continuing to plan for the effects of sequestration, but I know that Nevadans are resilient. I also know that even with sequestration looming over our country, Nevada will overcome and thrive because we will do what it takes to move our state forward."
Sunday, May 19 2013 1:17 AM EDT2013-05-19 05:17:58 GMT
Trailing 5-1 the University of Nevada baseball team scored three runs in the top of the seventh inning to close within a run but was unable to complete the comeback falling 6-4 at Fresno State in theMore >>
Sunday, May 19 2013 12:24 AM EDT2013-05-19 04:24:52 GMT
RHP Randall Delgado had his best outing of the season for Reno, as the Aces secured their first series victory, in a 5-1 win over the Albuquerque Isotopes at Isotopes Park on Saturday night. DelgadoMore >>