President Barack Obama gestures as he speaks to reporters in the White House briefing room in Washington, Friday, March 1, 2013, following a meeting with congressional leaders regarding the automatic spending cuts. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
President Barack Obama welcomes his new Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, right, as he speaks to members of the media at the start of a cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, March 4, 2013. From left are, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Obama and Hagel. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
FILE – In this Feb. 26, 2013, file photo Senate Minority Leader, Republican Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Senate GOP leadership answer questions about the looming automatic spending cuts after a Republican strategy session on Capitol Hill in Washington. McConnell is gearing up for a tough re-election fight in Kentucky next year by trying to head off a GOP primary challenge, trying to scare off potential Democratic contenders, and by giving all a glimpse of his no-holds-barred political tactics. From left, Sen.s John Cornyn, R-Texas, John Barrasso, R-Wyo., and Roy Blunt, R-Mo., right. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)
FILE - In this Feb. 15, 2013 file photo, President Barack Obama speaks in Chicago. The president and congressional Republicans each seem content with the political ground they hold and are prepared to let across-the-board spending cuts take effect on March 1, unlike during earlier rounds of budget brinkmanship that saw last minute frantic dealmaking. This time, there is no market-rattling threat of a US. default to force the two sides to compromise, no government shutdown on the short-term horizon and no year-end deadline to prevent a tax increase for every working American. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)
Speaker of the House John Boehner, R-Ohio, speaks during an interview with The Associated Press at his Capitol office, in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate passes Democratic budget plan proposing $1T tax increase, modest spending cuts.