Senate Dems up in 2012 mixed on Obama budget

The committee went after Sens. Bill Nelson (Fla.), Ben Nelson (Neb.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Sherrod Brown (Ohio), Debbie Stabenow (Mich.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Tester and Casey in news releases Monday. 

Ben Nelson, a top GOP target in 2012, expressed some disappointment Monday with the president's plan. In a statement, Nelson said the budget proposal "starts the debate about getting spending under control in Washington," but lamented that some of the largest reductions in the plan Obama said would reduce the deficit by $1 trillion over the next decade "arrive in the later years."  

Nelson said he intends to work with senators to "enact spending cuts that kick in sooner," but he didn't offer any detail on specific cuts.

Bill Nelson praised the budget proposal Monday, blasting critics whom he said "offer no real solution and really haven't done any cutting themselves."

"At least the president's budget is a step in the right direction in trying to get this country turned around, to really do something about lowering the deficit and cutting all of this wasteful spending," Nelson told the Bradenton Herald

Brown pointed the finger at Republicans, calling the proposal an effort to "clean up after years of reckless decisions that exacerbated our budget crisis," mentioning the Bush-era tax cuts and wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

"By not turing our backs on priorities that promote America's competitiveness — like education, innovation, infrastructure and energy — the proposal is forward-looking and responsible," said Brown.  

No reaction yet to the president's plan from McCaskill or Manchin, both top 2012 targets.  

McCaskill has been championing a plan, along with Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), to enact a federal spending cap that she says will cut some $8 trillion from the deficit over the next decade.