With the White House and congressional leaders continuing talks to avert a government shutdown Thursday, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee hit Republicans in a fundraising appeal, saying they are "intent on shutting down the federal government" and accusing them of "catering to each and every demand of the Tea Party."  

"Fight back with a gift of $5 or more to the DSCC's Shut Them Down Project," DSCC Executive Director Guy Cecil wrote in the fundraising email. "I want to raise $100,000 in the next 36 hours to show the strength of our grassroots support — and call out the Republican extremists." 

"As the shutdown and budget battles continue, we'll be watching their every move," Cecil concluded. "Your gift helps us keep up the fight."

The fundraising appeal comes a day after the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee warned supporters in a similar email that "Tea Party Republicans are threatening to shut down the government on Friday unless we surrender to their outrageous demands."

Penned by DCCC Chairman Steve Israel (N.Y.), that appeal went out late Wednesday, asking for small donations to the committee's "GOP Accountability Fund," with a goal of raising $50,000 by Friday "so we can hold Speaker Boehner and his Tea Party fringe Republicans immediately accountable for shutting down the government."

As the shutdown rhetoric intensified on Capitol Hill throughout the day Thursday, Republicans repeatedly accused Democrats of "exploiting" the potential for a shutdown, with several pointing to the DCCC's Wednesday fundraising appeal. 

Another meeting at the White House on Thursday afternoon between President Obama, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) again yielded no budget agreement. Congressional leaders and the White House pledged to continue talks through the night in an attempt to strike a deal.