Had her language been accepted, it would not have been in order for the Senate to consider the budget plan that the Senate hopes to approve this weekend. The current unemployment rate sits at 7.7 percent, and the Democratic budget calls for $975 billion in new taxes over the next decade.
Ayotte's language did allow for a waiver, but that waiver would have to be approved by three-fifths of the Senate.
"This budget asks the wealthiest Americans and our biggest corporations to pay just a little bit more, both to get our fiscal house in order, and to make critical investments that will help drive a broad-based economic growth," Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty MurrayPatty MurrayWeek ahead: Senate panel to vote on Trump's FDA pick Overnight Healthcare: GOP healthcare talks stall | Ryan takes backset to Pence in new repeal effort | FDA nominee grilled over industry ties Senators battle over FDA nominee's financial ties MORE (D-Wash.) said in reply.
The two had the same fight over taxes in last week's Senate Budget Committee hearing, where Ayotte first called for language blocking consideration of any budget that raises taxes while unemployment is high.
Just before the vote on Ayotte's language, the Senate approved an amendment from Sen. Barbara MikulskiBarbara MikulskiBipartisan friendship is a civil solution to political dysfunction Dems press for paycheck fairness bill on Equal Pay Day After 30 years celebrating women’s history, have we made enough progress? MORE (D-Md.) that would create a reserve fund allowing Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act without adding to the deficit. That act boosts protection for women against salary discrimination.
Before the vote, Sen. John CornynJohn CornynDisconnect: Trump, GOP not on same page Juan Williams: Trump's 100 days wound GOP Trump wall faces skepticism on border MORE (R-Texas) said he encourages all senators to vote for this. Sen. Jeff SessionsJeff SessionsC-SPAN to air Trump travel ban arguments live Trump faults DNC in Russian email hacks Sessions: Dems will pass anything ‘as long as it doesn’t work’ MORE (R-Ala.) suggested a voice vote on this amendment, and the Senate approved it by voice.
After both votes, the Senate also approved a proposal from Murray to ensure tax relief for low- and middle-income Americans.
"The Senate budget already includes a deficit neutral reserve fund for tax relief," Murray said before the vote. "This amendment would make that relief for low and middle income Americans explicit, but it would do it in a way that preserves the healthcare benefits in the Affordable Healthcare Act."
Republicans said they do not oppose the language, but downplayed it by saying the Democratic budget raises billions in new taxes. The GOP said it would support a voice vote on the measure, but a roll call was taken and it passed 99-0.
Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) is not in this week, which is why many amendments will get 99 votes at the most.
— This story was updated at 12:04 p.m.