As Joe noted below, the Ryan budget mustered just 40 votes in the Senate and not a single senator of either party voted for Obama’s budget. But the Senate also voted on two alternative Republican budgets. The budget proposed by Sen. Pat Toomey (R-PA) actually got the most votes, failing 42 to 55. Toomey’s budget picked up two additional Republican votes from Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky (this budget achieves balance faster than Ryan’s) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska (it doesn’t reform Medicare).
Senator Paul’s budget was voted down 7 to 90. Sens. Tom Coburn (R-OK), Jim DeMint (R-SC), Mike Lee (R-UT), David Vitter (R-LA), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), and Mitch McConnell (R-KY) joined Paul in voting yes. The yes votes by Hatch, who may face a Tea Party challenge next year, and McConnell, the Senate Republican leader, are somewhat surprising. Paul’s office pointed out that only his budget conformed to the balanced budget amendment all 47 Republicans in the Senate say they support.
It has now been 756 days since the Senate Democrats have passed a budget. Not a single Democrat voted for any of the four budgets brought up by the Senate tonight. Perhaps they should heed their fearless leader. “I do think that the Republican Party right now hasn’t sort of figured out what it’s for,” President Obama said in an interview in 2009. “And so as a proxy, they’ve just decided ‘we’re going to be against whatever the other side is for.’ That’s not what’s needed in an economic crisis.”