Portman said his amendment would have saved the country $3 trillion. He added that the nation’s debt needed to be addressed since it continues to grow larger than the size of the economy.
Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) argued against Portman’s amendment, saying that it wouldn’t work since both sides would find it hard to agree on the spending cuts. He also said it was important to pass the House bill without amendments so that it goes directly to the president’s desk.
The Senate will consider three other Republican amendments later Thursday before likely passing the No Budget, No Pay Act, H.R. 325, which suspends the debt ceiling through May 18, in order to allow lawmakers to negotiate a longer-term deal on the debt ceiling.
The bill would also put pressure on the House and Senate each to pass a budget resolution. Failure to do so by either chamber by April 15 would result in the withholding of pay for members of that chamber.
The House passed the measure last week in a 285-144 vote.