WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Senate has rejected competing Republican and Democratic spending bills in a bit of Capitol theatre designed to demonstrate that the combatants must meet somewhere in the middle.
The Democratic-led chamber emphatically rejected a budget-slashing House spending bill as too draconian.
Republicans similarly united against a rival Democratic plan that was derided by moderate Democrats as too timid in its drive to cut day-to-day agency budgets.
The votes to scuttle the competing measures were designed, ironically, to prompt progress.
The idea is to show tea party-backed GOP conservatives in the House that they need to pare back their budget-cutting ambitions at the same time demonstrating to Democratic liberals that they need to budge too.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)