"The Republicans think the budget is a piñata," Senate Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said in a press conference this week. "They think you just swing away and no matter what you hit it's wasteful spending."

At the same event, Conference Chairman Patty Murray (D-Wash.) accused Republicans of putting America up on "fire sale."

Democratic leadership held the press conference to complain about the anticipated House GOP budget that might attempt to cut government spending to 2006 levels.

Durbin followed his comment by suggesting that what lawmakers really need to do is take a precise scalpel to the budget, not a "meat axe."

Minutes before, in the very same studio, a cadre of Senate Republicans led by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) gathered to argue for a constitutional amendment that would force the federal government to balance its budget.

"If we don't have this kind of fiscal discipline we are never going to get to a balanced budget," said Hatch.