Discuss as:

Budget bills fail in Senate; 11 Dems break with party

The Senate has rejected two competing bills to fund the government until the end of the fiscal year. Eleven lawmakers who caucus with Democrats broke with their party to vote against the Democratic version of the spending bill, which would have made relatively modest cuts to current government funding levels.

The bill drafted by Democratic leaders would have cut about $4.7 billion from current spending levels. It failed 42 to 58.

Democrats voting no were: Sens. Kay Hagan, Herb Kohl, Claire McCaskill, Joe Manchin, Bill Nelson, Ben Nelson, Bernie Sanders (who is an Independent who caucuses with Democrats), Mark Udall, Jim Webb, Carl Levin, and Michael Bennet.

A competing GOP-backed measure that would have cut $61 billion from current spending levels also failed. The Republican measure, which passed the House earlier this month, failed by a vote of 44 to 56.

Sixty votes were needed for either bill to pass.

Tea Party-backed Sens. Rand Paul, Jim DeMint and Mike Lee voted against the GOP measure. The fiscally conservative lawmakers argue that the $61 billion in cuts did not go far enough to address the ballooning federal deficit.

No Democrats voted for the Republican-backed bill, which included cuts to Head Start, food safety programs, and all federal funding for Planned Parenthood.  

Manchin, who was the first Democrat to announce that he would vote against the Democratic measure, said Tuesday that the Democratic bill "doesn't go nearly far enough" and the GOP bill "blindly hacks the budget with no sense of our priorities or of our values as a country."  

The current two-week stopgap measure to fund the government expires on March 18. If a long-term funding bill does not pass before then, both chambers will have to approve another short-term measure to avert a government shutdown.

NBC's Ken Strickland contributed