As predicted, the Senate rejected a Republican bill giving President Obama broad discretion to implement $85.3 billion in spending cuts — or sequester — over the remainder of FY 2013. The proposal failed 38 to 62. Senate Democrats also fell short of the 60 votes needed to move ahead with their own plan to forestall automatic across-the-board spending cuts. The 51-49 roll call failed to attract Republican support because of differences over taxes. The defeat of these two measures makes it almost certain the sequester cuts will go into effect by midnight Friday, March 1st.