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Parties $50B apart on U.S. budget cuts

WASHINGTON, March 6 (UPI) -- Congressional leaders remained $50 billion apart Sunday on how much the federal budget should be cut.

Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., the deputy majority leader of the Senate, and Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, chairman of the House Republican Conference, appeared on "Fox News Sunday," and neither gave an inch.

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Republicans want to cut $61 billion from the current budget, while Democrats have proposed $10.5 billion.

"We're going to have a vote," Durbin said. "I think we have to demonstrate to the House Republicans … what will happen to their proposal when it comes to the Senate. And my guess is it will not come close to passage."

Hensarling said, "House Republicans put forth a proposal that would keep the government open. The Senate, frankly, has had plenty of time to consider it. They wanted more time, so we gave them two more weeks, but I hope that they would join us."

Durbin decried the House GOP plan for taking all of its cuts out of 12 percent of the budget, discretionary domestic spending, including education, medical research and border security.

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Hensarling responded, "Dick says everything has to be on the table, but under their plan, nothing is on the table."

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