Senate Democrats proposed a $110 billion measure Thursday to put off mandatory across-the-board spending cuts set to take effect March 1.
The package made public by Senate Democratic leaders calls for replacing the so-called sequester cuts with a combination of increased tax revenue from millionaires, ending agriculture subsidies and reducing defense spending after the war in Afghanistan ends.
Republican leaders in Congress have demanded that Democrats come up with a plan for avoiding the imminent cuts, technically known as sequestration.
However, the GOP opposes any increase in tax rates or other steps to bring in more tax revenue, saying the nation needs to reduce the cost of government.
"I would respectfully disagree that the American people are going to suddenly demand more tax hikes," an aide to Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said.
A White House statement said that opposing what it called the balanced plan by Senate Democrats would amount to prioritizing "tax loopholes that benefit the very few at the expense of middle- and working-class Americans."
The issue extends a long-running political dispute over government spending and federal deficits that dominated President Barack Obama's first term, as well as his successful re-election campaign last year.
Republicans were forced to concede on their steadfast opposition to increased taxes by agreeing in January to higher rates on top income earners as part of a deal to avoid some of the harshest impacts of what was known as the fiscal cliff, which included the sequester cuts and automatic tax hikes.
That agreement put off action on the sequester cuts, which were mandated by a 2011 agreement to raise the federal debt ceiling.
The purpose of the deep cuts to all discretionary programs and the military was to motivate Congress to reach a comprehensive deficit reduction agreement that would replace it.