Senate rejects Paul's balanced budget plan
© Greg Nash

The Senate on Thursday overwhelmingly rejected Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulMcCain: Trump plays into 'Putin's hands' by attacking Montenegro, questioning NATO obligations The Nation editor: Reaction by most of the media to Trump-Putin press conference 'is like mob violence' Lewandowski: Trump-Putin meeting advances goal of world peace MORE's (R-Ky.) plan to balance the budget by making steep cuts in spending.

Senators voted 21-76 on taking up Paul's legislation, known as the "penny plan."

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The legislation would have balanced the budget in five years and cut spending by roughly $13 trillion over 10 years compared to current spending levels.

Paul used an arcane Senate rule that allowed him to force a vote on his plan because leadership has not introduced a budget.

Paul argued on Thursday that Congress had made an "unholy alliance" in which Republicans agreed to more domestic spending in order to get a boost in military funding.

"That runs into the hypocrisy we face today. I've often said that the Republican Party is an empty vessel unless we imbue it with value," he added.

But Paul faced fire from both sides.

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamTrump’s damage control falters Trump: 'I think I did great at the news conference' George Will calls Trump ‘sad, embarrassing wreck of a man’ MORE (R-S.C.) urged senators to vote against the measure because of its impact on defense spending.

"If you're a defense hawk, you should be against this approach, because it creates the one thing we can't afford, which is unpredictability," he said.

Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerDemocrats slam Trump for considering Putin’s ’absurd’ request to question Americans Judge Kavanaugh confounds the left This week: GOP mulls vote on ‘abolish ICE’ legislation MORE (D-N.Y.), meanwhile, argued that Paul's comments were ironic given the GOP tax plan.

"Our side at least rankles when we hear these budgets that relate to deficit spending when on the tax side that doesn't seem to apply at all. I say that with due respect to my good friend, who I know is sincere in his beliefs. And he will argue with me that cutting taxes increases the economy," he added.