Senate Republicans fire back over government shutdown talk

In a response this afternoon, Senate Republicans voiced agreement with that avenue. 

"As Republicans focus on constructive ways for the two parties to work together on cutting spending and debt, Sen. Schumer seems strangely preoccupied with the notion of a government shutdown," said Don Stewart, McConnell's spokesman, in an email to The Hill. "It is our hope that he soon realizes the only person talking about a shutdown is Senator Schumer. Most Americans and even many in his own party have come to realize that the gravity of our current fiscal problems calls for constructive dialogue that will lead to serious cuts in spending and debt. That's what Republicans are focused on. We hope Senator Schumer joins that bipartisan effort soon."

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor likened the Reid, Schumer statements to fear tactics. 

"Unfortunately, not everyone is serious about getting our fiscal house in order," Cantor said in a statement. "If we want to get our economy growing again so that Americans can get back to work, it’s time for both political parties to stop the scare tactics and get serious. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like the leadership in the Senate is there yet."

Meanwhile, House Republicans are expected to release this afternoon a continuing resolution (CR) that could show upward of $100 billion in cuts from President Obama's fiscal 2011 budget request, which wasn't enacted. 

The House Appropriations Committee, which delayed release of their its because of pressure to make deeper cuts from Tea Party freshmen, also are expected to show how much that spending amounts to from cuts in the 2010 spending levels as included in the CR. After the first round of cuts were announced Wednesday, the cuts totaled $32 billion from current spending and that is likely to increase in the updated measure.

"Our intent is to make deep but manageable cuts in nearly every area of government, leaving no stone unturned and allowing no agency or program to be held sacred," House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers, (R-Ky.) said. "I have instructed my committee to include these deeper cuts, and we are continuing to work to complete this critical legislation."

That plan is expected to receive a cold reception from Senate Democrats. 

Senate Budget ranking member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) told reporters on Thursday that he'd examine the House's proposal before deciding on whether he'd support it.