Senate Democrats have pushed a budget through committee that calls for roughly $1 trillion in new tax revenues over the coming decade and increases spending slightly over current projections.
The vote in the budget committee Thursday night was 12-10 along party lines. The blueprint is expected to be on the Senate floor for a vote next week.
The plan written by Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty Murray of Washington state reduces deficits for the next three years before red ink is projected to begin rising again.
The measure contrasts sharply with a plan pushed by House Republicans that contains no tax increases, relying solely on cuts to balance the budget in a decade.
Meanwhile, President Barack Obama says he had a "great conversation" today with Senate Republicans.
It was his third stop on this week's outreach effort on Capitol Hill, where he's been talking with lawmakers from both parties about the budget and other issues. Senators said today's 90-minute meeting featured exchanges on the budget, the proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline, tax reform and the regulatory burden on businesses.
Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell says Obama was "very candid." He says Obama "certainly understands that you can't fix the country without adjusting entitlements." It's a reference to benefit programs like Social Security and Medicare that are part of the debate over deficit reduction.
McConnell says, "We'll see where we go from here, but it was a great meeting."
Obama then walked across the Capitol to meet with his House Democratic allies. The meeting caps visits this week to the Democratic and GOP conferences of both the House and Senate.
Upload your photo, with a caption of your reason to smile, then watch the last half hour of BVTM from 6:30A - 7A Monday mornings to see if your photo makes it.