Pence, a member of the Republican Study Committee, mocked Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidDems see surge of new candidates Dems to grind Senate to a halt over ObamaCare repeal fight GOP fires opening attack on Dem reportedly running for Heller's Senate seat MORE (D-Nev.) for defending federal spending on a cowboy poetry festival in Nevada and for saying GOP cuts are "mean-spirited."

"It's time to take a stand for fiscal responsibility and reform," he said. "We have to say this far, and no farther.

"And make no mistake about it, if we make this fight, we can win this fight because the American people are on our side," Pence concluded.

Earlier Thursday, Reid said Democrats are ready to negotiate on a budget deal, but he did not offer any specifics.