Three Senate Democrats, all up for re-election in 2012, have announced their intention to vote against their own party's attempt to cut spending, all unified in their stand that the cuts do not go deep enough.
Senator Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., charged, "The (Democrats' bill) has not gone far enough. it is frankly disappointing to me. i still think that there are way too many people in denial around here about the nature of the problem and how serious it is."
The moderate Missouri Democrat equally condemned the House GOP bill for going too far but warned, "We've got to put everything on the table and look at our long-term debt structure. and we need to figure out how we do that in a bipartisan way. because we're going to fail our country if no one is willing to compromise.
"I'm here to deliver a eulogy," Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., said, adding. "Both bills are dead and they deserve to be dead. one bill cuts too little."
Tuesday, Sen. Joe Manchin, D-WV, announced his "no" vote, but only he placed blame on the president, saying Obama had "failed to lead this debate or offer a serious proposal for spending and cuts he would be willing to fight for."
All three equally decried the $61 billion in cuts made in the House GOP bill, each opposing that measure for cutting too much. That bill, along with the Democrats' proposal which cuts $4.7 billion, will receive votes Wednesday afternoon.
With just nine days before the government runs out funding, the Senate on Wednesday is involved in something of an exercise in futility, as both sides readily concede that their own bill will fail. Each said the vote was needed in order to move on from entrenched, ideological positions.
And these Democrats aren't alone in announcing their intention to buck their party.
Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., is expected to oppose both bills, according to a GOP aide. Earlier he said, "I think both alternatives are inadequate and do not significantly alter or change our course."
"The sweet spot is somewhere in between these two approaches," McCaskill predicted, though it's unclear the leadership in both parties is listening.