Senate leaders fire opening shots in 2016 budget battle
© Greg Nash

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOvernight Defense & National Security — US, Iran return to negotiating table Senate GOP blocks defense bill, throwing it into limbo On The Money — Biden stresses calm amid omicron fears MORE (R-Ky.) and Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidVoters need to feel the benefit, not just hear the message Schumer-McConnell dial down the debt ceiling drama Mellman: Are independents really so independent? MORE (D-Nev.) previewed the upcoming fight over the budget Wednesday ahead of a committee markup.

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The Senate Budget Committee is expected to mark up a budget resolution Wednesday, with votes in the Senate expected next week.

McConnell said the budget will reign in spending while bolstering economic growth.

"It's a budget that controls spending, reduces the deficit, and improves programs like Medicaid. It's a budget that will support economic growth and more opportunity for hardworking families while protecting our most vulnerable," he said. "And it is a budget that would allow us to repeal and replace a program that hurts the middle class — ObamaCare."

The Obama administration released its fiscal 2016 budget request last month. McConnell, however, dismissed the president's budget, saying "hardly anyone took that budget seriously."

The Senate budget comes a day after House Republicans released their legislation.

Reid slammed the proposed budget. He said Republicans are "using mirrors and a lot of smoke."

"The Republicans claim they're reducing the deficit, but it's not true," the Nevada Democrat said from the Senate floor. "In truth, they're using mirrors and a lot of smoke in an effort to fool the American people."

He added that Republicans are "cooking the books" with their budget, which he suggested is "immoral."

"They're, for a lack of a better description, cooking the books. Using what they call dynamic scoring. What is dynamic scoring? It is an effort to claim they're balancing the budget," he said. "The Republican budget would drastically cut the tax bill for the average millionaire while raising taxes on the average middle class. That is not just irresponsible, it's immoral."