The votes are still coming in, but Senate Democrats -- along with several Republicans -- have defeated Paul Ryan's House-passed 2012 budget. Updates to follow.
UPDATE: The final tally on the Ryan plan was 40 yeas - 57 nays. By my count, five Republicans joined Democrats in voting no: Scott Brown, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, Rand Paul, and Olympia Snowe. Sen. Paul's no vote is a result of his belief that the House budget didn't go far enough. The others agreed with Democrats that it goes too far. Two Republicans did not vote: Hutchison and Roberts. I received the following statement from Sen. Paul's office, explaining his 'no' vote on the Ryan budget and his 'yes' vote for Toomey's:
Ryan’s didn’t cut enough in the short term to balance the budget. – he likes some of ryan’s long-term solutions for entitlements, but there is an express need for immediate cuts in spending. Toomey’s budget balances in a much shorter time frame.
UPDATE II: As I predicted in my previous post, ZERO Senators have voted for President Obama's budget. Therefore, the only Democrat-crafted 2012 budget proposal on the table has been unanimously defeated in the United States Senate. This is simutaneously remarkable and pathetic. The final roll call was 0 -97. Not a single Democrat -- for reasons outlined previously -- was willing to affix his or her name to the president's disastrous proposal, even though many of them lavished praise on it just a few months ago.
UPDATE III: Sen. Pat Toomey's plan has been defeated as well. Lisa Murkowski and Rand Paul flipped from nays on the Ryan plan to yeas on this one. Scott Brown and the Maine Twins voted against both plans. The final roll was 42-55.
UPDATE IV: A small, arcane note about these votes: Technically, the Senate isn't voting directly on any of the plans in question. They're voting to proceed to the plans. A 'no' vote at this stage is still a de facto vote to kill the proposal(s).
UPDATE V: Sen. Rand Paul's proposal -- by far the most ambitious of the GOP plans -- fails by a massive margin. Seven Senators supported it: Coburn, DeMint, Lee, Hatch, Vitter, McConnell and Paul. Still, that's seven more votes than Obama's plan received.
And with that, the stunt is over. What a disgrace.
UPDATE VI: Mitch McConnell reacts to tonight's series of votes (McConnell, by the way, voted in favor of all three GOP alternatives to the Obama proposal):
“The President identified the problem more than a year ago when he said that ‘almost all of the long-term deficit and debt we face relates to the costs of Medicare and Medicaid.’ But Democrats in the Senate showed today that don't even want to talk about it. They rejected every single proposal to deal with it. They've chosen to ignore this crisis just like they ignored the last crisis. They're so focused on an election that's nearly two years away that they can't see the crisis in front of us.”
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