Senate turns back attempt by Paul to force budget debate

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has rejected an attempt by Sen. Rand Paul to force a debate on sweeping budget cuts and on federal deficits that are growing despite a strong economy.

After last year's tax cuts and a two-year agreement on agency budget levels, Republicans controlling Congress aren't trying to pass a budget blueprint this year. There's no appetite to cut popular programs in such a difficult political environment.

Paul offered a budget with a draconian $13 trillion worth of cuts over the coming decade, but he doesn't describe where they would come from. Instead he calls on lawmakers to come up with "new efficiencies, consolidations, and other savings."

The Senate voted 76-21 to reject Paul's effort.