WASHINGTON — The Senate rejected two different proposals Wednesday to rein in government spending as Democrats stepped up a campaign to close tax loopholes to counter a Republican drive to reduce deficits through domestic spending cuts alone.
Both sides have retreated, temporarily, to reassess their stances after Wednesday's votes made it clear that neither the Republican proposal for steep cuts nor a more modest Democratic plan will win broad support in Congress.
Lawmakers face a March 18 deadline for averting a government shutdown.
Tucson suspect makes court appearance
TUCSON — Survivors of the Tucson shooting rampage came face to face Wednesday with the man accused of carrying out the attack that killed six people and wounded 13 others, including U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
Jared Lee Loughner smiled as he entered the courtroom in handcuffs and a khaki prison jumpsuit. His once-shaved head featured short, dark hair and sideburns. Two U.S. marshals stood just feet behind Loughner throughout the hearing.
At least three survivors of the Jan. 8 rampage — Susan Hileman, U.S. Army Col. (Ret.) Bill Badger and Mavanell "Mavy" Stoddard — attended the hearing. They sat on the opposite side of the courtroom as Loughner. Hileman was in a wheelchair.
The suspect's father, Randy Loughner, also made his first appearance in the gallery during his son's criminal case. The father sat three rows behind his son, his arms folded.