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Senate Democrats reject House GOP budget plan
Senate Democrats reject House GOP budget plan but don't offer alternative
By The Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) ' Democrats controlling the Senate have rejected for the second consecutive year a budget plan passed by House Republicans.

The vote came after a daylong debate Wednesday in which Democrats blasted Republicans for refusing to consider tax increases as part of a solution to trillion-dollar deficits.

Republicans in turn attacked Democrats for not offering a budget at all and said they were ducking the deficit issue to avoid politically difficult votes in advance of the November elections.

Democrats like Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad of North Dakota said last summer's budget agreement with the Obama administration set the budget for next year and that larger questions involving expensive benefit programs would best be dealt with after the election.

Economists warn the swelling debt could swamp the economy and spook the markets.

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