Senate Blocks Republican Alternative to U.S. Spending Cuts

The Senate blocked a Republican proposal to give President Barack Obama more flexibility in implementing $85 billion in federal spending cuts set to begin tomorrow.

By a vote of 38-62, with 60 required, senators turned back the measure.

The Republican plan would have retained the spending cuts for the next seven months while requiring Obama to submit a plan by March 15 for allocating them. It would have let Congress vote to reject the president’s plan and keep the original, across-the-board cuts in place.

The measure, which the Obama administration said it “strongly opposes” because it would protect “tax loopholes for the wealthy,” is S.16.