Democrats have derided the Wednesday budget votes as a stunt, asserting that the spending caps agreed to in last summer’s deal to raise the debt ceiling are stronger than any congressional budget resolution.
The Senate is also expected to vote Wednesday on a version of President Obama’s fiscal 2013 budget, with all five proposals expected to fall short.
But Senate Republicans have continued to highlight that their Democratic counterparts last passed a budget resolution more than three years ago.
Lee added Wednesday that, by offering three separate alternatives, Republicans were underscoring that Democrats were not offering a plan to get entitlements and other long-term fiscal issues under control.
“It’s significant, moreover, that all three of these have been introduced by freshmen. Compared to some of our other colleagues, we’re fresh off the campaign trail,” Lee told The Hill after the news conference. “We’re recently elected, and we’re close to what’s on the minds of our constituents.”
Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), the chairman of the Budget Committee, did unveil a budget resolution in April based on the recommendations of the president's fiscal commission.
But Conrad also quickly adjourned a markup on that plan, and has said he is trying to build support for it to perhaps bring up after this year’s elections.
Lee’s budget is modeled after a proposal from the Heritage Foundation, while Paul and Toomey are both offering budgets for a second consecutive year.
The budgets do have some differences — the proposals from Lee and Paul balance after five years, while Toomey’s plan does so within eight.
Toomey would also cut all marginal individual income tax rates by 20 percent, and reduce the top corporate rate to 25 percent. Both Paul (17 percent) and Lee (25 percent) would install a flat tax for both businesses and individuals.
The Republicans also rejected suggestions that they were playing politics with Wednesday votes, saying that Democrats were more guilty of that for criticizing their plans without an alternative.
Toomey also said that, with the possibility that Republicans will take back the Senate in November, the proposals allowed the GOP to work toward a consensus on budget issues.
“I don’t see how you can consider the people who are actually proposing a constructive idea as trying to have a gotcha moment,” the Pennsylvania Republican said.