Whitehouse said lawmakers could agree to implement the Buffet Rule, end a payroll tax loophole, stop deductions for private jets, eliminate Big Oil tax breaks or end the tax deduction for businesses that move their operations overseas. 

Levin, who serves as chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said sequestration is harming not only seniors and children but also military service members. He said it’s “illogical” for a few Senate Republicans to refuse to go to a budget committee conference with the House. Senate Democrats have asked to form a budget conference committee 11 times and each time a GOP senator has objected. Levin said if a budget conference was formed, lawmakers could work out a deal to replace the automatic spending cuts, called sequestration.

“A budget resolution is no game,” Levin said. “I can’t understand the reason when our national security is challenged on some many fronts, … it isn’t just illogical it’s harmful to our nation.

“This position does a great disservice to the men and women protecting this nation.”

Democrats have been pushing for a budget resolution that is balanced between an equal amount of spending cuts and revenue from closing tax loopholes for corporations and the wealthy. But Republicans have argued that any new revenue would harm the economic recovery.