Reid on discretionary cuts: 'We can't go any more'

"We have been willing to do what is fair in ratcheting down very, very hard on programs dealing with domestic discretionary spending," Reid said. "We can't go any more."

House Republicans have proposed slashing $61 billion in non-security discretionary spending this year, of which $10 billion in cuts was enacted last month. GOP leaders have not publicly budged from the $61 billion figure – nor their insistence that all of it come from discretionary programs.

"We want real spending cuts,” House Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerHouse vote fails to quell storm surrounding Steve King House passes resolution condemning white nationalism GOP leaders strip Steve King of committee assignments MORE (R-Ohio) told reporters last week. “We are dealing with the discretionary part of the budget.”

Congressional Democrats and the White House have rejected the $61 billion proposal outright, and Reid on Tuesday reiterated that message. "Republicans need to stop clinging to a bill that has already been defeated here in the Senate," he said. "That bill is a non-starter."

Democrats have offered $23 billion in additional cuts this year, but targeted programs outside the discretionary budget. Reid claimed certain cuts to entitlement and Defense Department programs would be “fairly easy" to pass.

"The Republicans are not willing to bend, even on this," Reid charged. "We can get them their number – it's not a question of [the] number. It's ideological with them."

With the government's spending authority slated to expire at day’s end Friday – and neither side seeming willing to cede any ground – GOP leaders on Monday night proposed a one-week funding extension to allow negotiators more time to hammer out a long-term agreement. The spending patch would extend Pentagon funding through the rest of the fiscal year; cut $12 billion in discretionary programs, including a popular nutrition program for low-income children; and bar federal and local government funding for abortion services in the District of Columbia.

Senate Republicans were quick to endorse the House's one-week extension.

"We think it's a credible, sensible proposal, and I hope the Senate will take it up rapidly and pass it before Friday," Minority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOn The Money: Shutdown Day 25 | Dems reject White House invite for talks | Leaders nix recess with no deal | McConnell blocks second House Dem funding bill | IRS workers called back for tax-filing season | Senate bucks Trump on Russia sanctions Mellman: Why does the GOP persist? Leaders nix recess with no shutdown deal in sight MORE (R-Ky.) said.

McConnell said Congress needs to finalize the 2011 spending debate and "move on to more important things," like the battle over the 2012 budget. "It is our hope that we will wrap this whole issue up before April 15th," he said.

Democrats, though, have already slammed the one-week spending bill, with House liberals condemning the abortion language and Reid indicating it's likely dead on arrival in the Senate.

"As you heard the president say, there's going to be no more short-term extensions," Reid said. "It's really time to get the job done."

Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), chairman of the Budget Committee, criticized the GOP's short-term proposal because it would take Pentagon cuts off the table this year.

"I don't think anything should be off the table," Conrad said.

President Obama on Tuesday hosted a two-hour meeting with leaders from both parties in an attempt to break the stalemate. BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerHouse vote fails to quell storm surrounding Steve King House passes resolution condemning white nationalism GOP leaders strip Steve King of committee assignments MORE's office said no deal was reached, leading the White House to schedule another try for Wednesday.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle say any agreement will hinge on Obama adopting a greater role in the negotiations.

"We urgently need his leadership," said Sen. Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderMcConnell blocks House bill to reopen government for second time Senators restart shutdown talks — and quickly hit roadblocks GOP senators propose bill to pay 'excepted' workers during shutdown MORE (R-Tenn.).