Another plan to raise the top tax rate to 33%, cut the proposed gas tax increase to 6 cents a gallon and soften the bill's impact on Medicare patients was rejected, 55 to 45.
Sen. David L. Boren (D-Okla.) tried but failed, 57 to 42, to include a trade-off between lower capital gains rates for long-held assets and an increase to 33% in the top income tax rate.
On each of the so-called deal busters, Mitchell, Minority Leader Bob Dole (R-Kan.) and their lieutenants combined forces to block major changes in the committee package.
"We've got to get this job done," Mitchell thundered at one point. "Do we want to make a statement or do we want to make a law?"
Each senator had a foot-high copy of the 1,064-page budget reconciliation bill on his desk. The debate began in midmorning and continued into the early hours today on what for the Senate was an extremely fast track.
Overall, the Senate bill would cut the deficit by $28.4 billion in this fiscal year and by $252.5 billion over the next five years. Additional cuts in appropriations, mainly for defense, would trim red-ink spending by another $12 billion in the next year and by $180 billion between now and 1995. Savings in interest payments on the debt would make up the balance of the $500-billion package.
Without the continuing resolution approved by the House and expected to be approved by the Senate and signed by Bush today, massive spending cuts of $85.3 billion would be imposed Saturday.
Staff writer David Lauter contributed to this story.