Senate Democrats intensified pressure on the controversial budget plan submitted by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) today, forcing a floor vote that saw moderate Republicans join Democrats in rejecting the measure.

Ryan's plan has become a lightning rod because of its proposal to drastically restructure Medicare, shifting the popular entitlement program towards private vouchers. Initially hailed as a bold mechanism for budget reduction, the proposal has since met with fierce criticism.

Republican candidate Jane Corwin's loss yesterday in a special election in New York's traditionally Republican 26th district was interpreted by some as a voter backlash against the plan, with Corwin's opponent mounting an aggressive campaign of ads condemning it.

Republican Senators Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine, Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts and Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska joined Democrats in voting against the measure, which failed 57-40. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) voted against the plan for different reasons, saying its cuts were not large enough.