Senate rejects spending bill 

Senate Democratic leaders on Wednesday withdrew a $140 billion benefits package that includes Obama-backed funds for the jobless, aid to struggling states to pay government workers and tax breaks for small businesses.

There was not enough support to pass the bill, which failed to get 60 votes during a vote to waive special budget rules that prohibit deficit spending. The bill as written would increase the deficit by $79 billion, which is the main reason so many lawmakers refused to back it. Democrats are now scaling back the bill and will likely cut out some of the unemployment benefits and limit the size of a provision to reimburse doctors who treat Medicare patients. The House-passed version costs $115 billion and would add $54 billion to the deficit.

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