Senate rejects House GOP budget-cutting plan

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WASHINGTON (AP) ? The Senate has rejected a House Republican bill to cut spending and require a balanced-budget amendment.

The vote Friday was 51-46. The tea party-backed measure had been widely expected to fail in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

The focus was on efforts by President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner to come up with an ambitious $4 trillion grand bargain that would secure the support of rank-and-file lawmakers. But wide differences still remain.

Washington is less than two weeks away from an Aug. 2 deadline that could precipitate a first-ever government default.