Mike Enzi

Democrats slam GOP budget on taxes, health care cuts

The Republican-led Senate rejected Democratic attempts to spare health programs for the poor and elderly from cuts, absorbing political hits as the price for advancing a $4 trillion budget plan that's a crucial step in the GOP's drive to rewrite the tax code later this year.

In rapid-fire party-line votes, Republicans defended cuts to Medicare of almost $500 billion over the coming decade as well as a provision to curb the Medicaid health program for the poor by twice as much.

"Do you want to cut Medicaid or not, yes or no? Do you want to cut Medicare or not, yes or no?" said top Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer of New York. "Do you want to vote for a $1.5...