The Florida Democrat was among a handful of Senate moderates -- with eyes on 2012 -- voting against both a Republican spending bill and its Democratic rival.
Democrats say at $57 billion over the next 6 months, the House-passed GOP plan cuts too deeply -- but that the White House-backed Senate plan -- at $5 billion -- didn't cut deep enough.
Democratic senators huddled in the afternoon with President Barack Obama and he put out calls to GOP leaders to try to find common ground. The budget bill now funding the government expires March 18 and the threat of another government shutdown looms.
Rep. Allen West, R-Plantation, suggests he's not interested in a compromise: "I will NOT be voting for another short term (continuing resolution spending bill,)" West tweeted. "There is a confrontation coming on this budget and the sooner we get to it the better."