The final tally was 53 to 46, with Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia the sole Democrat to join the Republicans.
The motion, offered by Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, would have returned the Senate’s budget back to committee “with instructions to make it balance by 2023,” according to The Hill.
“Tonight the American people witnessed a remarkable and alarming event: the Senate’s Democrat majority declared they do not want to balance the budget, will not balance the budget, and will oppose any effort to balance the budget in any way,” Sessions said after the vote.
The budget prepared by the House would balance in 10 years according to House Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis. In contrast, even though the Senate budget raises taxes by an additional $975 billion, it will never balance.
“The budget spends more money, and it eats up the new taxes with new spending. It really does,” he said. “This is a failed plan that’s been produced by the majority party in the United States Senate.
“You can’t take a bucket of water from one end of the pool and pour it in the other and gain from this, especially when the bucket’s going to leak a good bit of it in the process.”
GOP lawmakers have long stressed using spending cuts, however, the amendment offered by Sessions didn’t restrict the method to balance the budget.
“They can balance the budget any way they want to. They can raise taxes, they can cut spending,” Session said
“This motion would simply say this to our colleagues, ‘Do you favor a balanced budget? Is it important to you? Have you said you’d vote for a balanced budget?’” Sessions said. “A goal of balancing the budget isn’t just some frivolous goal — it will mean that we’ll put our government on a sustainable path.”
Democrats are fond of pointing out that the U.S. last passed a balanced budget during the Clinton administration. The government returned to deficit spending during the Bush administration to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Read more at The Hill.