Sen. Mike Johanns voted Thursday for legislation that looked to give individual cabinet agencies and the administration the ability to make their own spending cuts.
The legislation, which Johanns said would have forced the government to prioritize how to spend taxpayer dollars, failed in a 38-62 vote.
Sen. Johanns said, "The president has said he wants a scalpel instead of an axe so he can cut wasteful government spending and this bill would give him just that. I reject the notion that the only way to reduce spending is to eliminate key government services in a $3.5 trillion federal budget that can afford lavish conferences in Las Vegas complete with clowns and comedians."
Democrats also offered legislation Thursday to replace the sequester. The Democratic legislation would look to place higher taxes on millionaires as part of the plan to replace $85 billion in across-the-board spending cuts.
Officials say the bill would spread the savings out over a decade in a move sponsors say is designed to prevent damage to a shaky economic recovery.
The sequester is approximately $1.2 trillion in automatic federal spending cuts that are set to take place over the next decade. The cuts will begin Friday unless Democrats and Republicans can come to an agreement.