Time for conservatives in Indiana to step up to the plate and primary his ass out of office.

Sen. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.), the most senior member of the Senate Republican conference, said Tuesday he will oppose the House-passed proposal to make drastic cuts to the federal budget.

He is the first Senate Republican to publicly state his opposition to a plan that Democrats have blasted as “reckless.”

Lugar, who is facing a Tea Party-backed challenge in the 2012 Indiana Republican primary, is taking a political risk. But he and other centrist Republicans have concerns about steep spending cuts that will eliminate funding for some federal programs in mid-year.

Lugar declined to state his reasons for opposing the bill as he entered a weekly lunch meeting with his Republican colleagues in the Lyndon Baines Johnson Room on the second floor of the Capitol.

“I’m opposed to it,” Lugar said.

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