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Senate Ditches Obama Budget; Plan Earns Only 1 'Yes'

Senate Republicans and Democrats soundly rejected Obama's budget plan on Wednesday afternoon. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Sen. Thomas R. Carper, D-Del., joined the very short list of members of Congress who have cast "yes" votes on President Barack Obama's budget proposals Wednesday evening, when the Senate rejected a budget alternative based on the $4 trillion blueprint unveiled by Obama in Februar y .  

Ninety-eight senators voted against the motion to take it up, following a pattern set in recent years by Republicans trying to force Democrats to go on the record voting against the White House spending plan. This year, the vote designed to embarrass Obama was offered by Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn, R-Texas., who noted the president's budget does not have a great track record on Capitol Hill. Cornyn said Obama's previous budget proposals have received 1,023 "no" votes from Congress.  

In April 2014, a GOP-offered Obama budget proposal earned only two affirmative votes when House Democrats Marcy Kaptur of Ohio and former Rep. James P. Moran of Virginia voted "yes."  

"I will vote no — that’s probably no surprise to anyone. But I think everyone in this chamber deserves the opportunity to express themselves by voting on the president’s proposed budget,” Cornyn said when he offered the motion on the floor.  

Democrats, who are trying to focus the budget battle on "meat and potato" policy issues , dismissed the vote as a political stunt that does not truly represent the administration's priorities.  

Sen. Bernard Sanders, a Vermont independent who caucuses with the Democrats, said he was "not quite sure what is in Senator Cornyn's proposal, but it certainly is not what is in" Obama's budget. The ranking member of the Budget Committee complained that the president's most important policy proposals were not included in the language of the amendment, such as providing two years of free community and an increase to the minimum wage.  

Cornyn's amendment was the last in a series of seven votes on the budget resolution, including measures related to Department of Veterans Affairs funding, equal pay for women and Social Security.  

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Topics: budget