WASHINGTON (AP) - With across-the-board spending cuts all but certain, Republicans and Democrats in the Senate are staging a politically charged showdown designed to avoid public blame for any public inconvenience or disruption in government services.
Democrats controlling the Senate are pushing a $110 billion plan that would block the cuts through the end of the year.
Republicans are poised to offer an alternative that would give President Barack Obama the authority to propose a rewrite to the 2013 budget to redistribute the cuts. Obama would be unable to cut defense by more than the $43 billion reduction that the Pentagon faces, and he would also be unable to raise taxes to undo the cuts.
Officials concede in advance that the rival measures are doomed.
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