Nelson seeking 5 percent in cuts from legislative branch

The legislative branch bill sets the level of spending across Capitol Hill for congressional members’ offices, the Government Accountability Office, the Congressional Budget Office, Architect of the Capitol, the Library of Congress, the Capitol police and the Government Printing Office. 

"There will be cuts and while some will be painful, it’s important to lead by example," he said. 

In early January, Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) led the charge for a 5 percent cut that could be used to reduced the deficit. 

"If we are going to solve our fiscal problems, we must start by demonstrating we are committed to reduce spending, so I am calling on all members of the Senate to cut their office budget by at least 5 percent," Wicker said when he introduced his resolution. "This is an important initial step that could save more than $20 million this year."

Congress didn't pass a fiscal year 2011 federal budget last year and, instead, approved a continuing resolution (CR) that is keeping the government running at fiscal 2010 levels. The CR is set to expire on March 4.

House Republicans have proposed a two-week CR that cuts $4 billion and expires March 18. 

The Senate is in talks with House leadership to work toward an agreement to keep the government funded for the next two weeks while lawmakers craft a bill for the remainder of the fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30. 

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) suggested a 30-day stopgap measure but that is still under construction.