The vote did little to shed light on the impasse other than confirm that no senator is willing to buck his own party by teaming up with the other side.
Senators voted largely along party lines to reject two proposals to cut federal spending, leaving a legislative stalemate that will have to be resolved briskly to avert another government shutdown.
A Republican proposal passed by the House that would slash another $57 billion from the fiscal 2011 budget failed 44 votes to 56. It did not receive a single Democratic vote.
An alternative Democratic plan to cut $6.2 billion in federal spending failed to garner any Republican support. The vote was 42 to 58.
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle said spending negotiations would begin in earnest after the test votes forced senators to take public stances on the competing proposals.
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Source: Alexander Bolton | The Hill
Photo: U.S. Senate