"It's a difficult challenge but as a leader you have to meet that challenge," scolded Sessions.

In a colloquy on the Senate floor with Sessions, Sen. Orrin HatchOrrin Grant HatchPress: Forget bipartisanship — it's dead! Privatization of foster care has been a disaster for children Remembering Ted Kennedy highlights decline of the Senate MORE (R-Utah), the ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, suggested Senate Democrats were abdicating their fiscal responsibility to the nation.

"The American people overwhelming expect the Senate to do the nation's business, and the first order of business is to get our financial house in order," said Hatch. "For the majority party to skip work on the nation's budget is not something to be taken lightly."


House Republicans passed a budget earlier in the year that would cut $5.8 trillion in spending over 10 years and transform Medicare into a kind of voucher system, among other measures, in order to balance the budget by 2040 without raising taxes. 

Senate Democrats are expected to schedule a vote on that budget next week. They hope the vote will show that many Republicans in the upper chamber are opposed to the House GOP budget. 

Democrats in the Senate have been unable to reach agreement on a budget of their own, something Republicans have repeatedly ripped them for. 

Both GOP lawmakers said Republicans stand ready to engage in a budget battle, but without a Democratic plan progress is impossible.

"Our side is ready to engage in this important debate and process but it's hard to do it when they won't even put up a budget," said Hatch. "Without a budget we don't have anything to debate and analyze."