Fourteen senators from both parties defected from their leadership on Wednesday to torpedo two spending plans that were brought up for votes.

Eleven members of the Democratic Caucus voted against their party's alternative spending proposal that would slash $6.2 billion through September and the three founding members of the Senate Tea Party Caucus voted against a House Republican plan to slash $57 billion in spending for the rest of the fiscal year. 


Sens. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) were the only three Republicans to vote against the GOP plan, which failed to advance in the Senate in a 44-56 vote. The three senators had pushed for deeper cuts. All Senate Democrats voted against the measure.

The vote, which came alongside a procedural vote on a Democratic proposal to slash less spending, was expected to fail. The motion on the Democratic bill was voted down 42-58. Leaders from both political parties continue to negotiate over a plan to fund the government until September. 

The multiple defections demonstrate the uncertainty over a final plan. Republicans sought to play up the votes as a victory for spending cuts, considering that Democrats hold a majority in the Senate. 

Don Stewart, a spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) drew attention to the fact that the Democratic proposal received less votes than the GOP plan, despite the fact Democrats are in the majority. 

"The House-passed CR had more support (44 votes) in the Senate than the Dem status quo bill (42) despite Dems' 53-47 advantage," he tweeted.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) countered that Republicans have not put forward a workable plan.

"It’s time for them to work with us to on a responsible, long-term solution that funds our government for the rest of the year, makes responsible cuts and safeguards our fragile economic recovery," he said.

The Democratic-aligned senators who voted against their party's plan were: Michael Bennet (Colo.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Herb Kohl (Wis.), Kay Hagan (N.C.), Carl Levin (Mich.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Ben Nelson (Neb.), Bill Nelson (Fla.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Jim Webb (Va.) and Mark Udall (Colo.) 

Several members of the group, such as McCaskill, both Nelsons and Manchin, face tough reelection races in 2012.

Lee, DeMint, Paul, Manchin, McCaskill and Ben Nelson all voted against both plans.

Wednesday's vote was also the Tea Party Caucus' second major example of cohesion on a vote this year. All three opposed a ban on secret holds, which passed in January.