Republicans ramped up pressure on President Obama on Thursday to personally intervene in the stalemated entitlement spending fight in Congress.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) called for greater involvement by Obama after both Democratic and Republican plans to fund government the rest of this year failed in a pair of test votes, and ahead of what's expected to be an even bigger fight on next year's budget.

"We're waiting for the president of the United States. Now is the time to engage, and he has been curiously passive to this point," McConnell said on MSNBC.

The Senate on Wednesday rejected the Democratic plan — which cuts $6.2 billion from existing spending — as well as the Republican plan, which cuts $57 billion, showing that neither side has the votes to proceed with its own preference at this point. 

Those cuts only touch on domestic, discretionary spending, and not the mandatory spending on programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, which all are big drivers of the deficit.

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) called for a "reset" in negotiations on Wednesday that included reforms beyond the cuts in domestic discretionary spending, as Republicans have proposed. But it's not clear what the path forward is at this point, especially as they face a March 18 deadline just to fund the government, or face a shutdown.

Vice President Biden has been leading negotiations toward a solution, but has been traveling abroad this week. He phoned McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Wednesday.

But McConnell said those talks, including those surrounding entitlements, aren't leading to productive solutions at this point.

"We've had plenty of conversations, but we're not getting anywhere," he said. "That's the problem."

Republicans aren't the only ones demanding a greater role by the president, either. Freshman Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) accused Obama on Monday of having "failed to lead" so far in the budget debate.


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Updated 9:54 a.m.