The U.S. government is now on an unambiguous path for the sequester after both a Republican and Democratic effort to avert the crisis failed in the Senate on Thursday.

A Republican plan to give President Obama the authority to replace the cuts in the sequester got just 38 votes -- well shy of the 60 required to bring it to a final vote.

The Democratic plan, which included included a mix of spending cuts and revenue increases, got 51 votes.

Notably, nine Republicans voted against their party's plan for the sequester, fearing it gave Obama too much power. And three red-state Democrats who face reelection in 2014 voted against the Democratic plan: Sens. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.), Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Mark Pryor (D-Ark.).

Roz Helderman has the full story.