Top House Democrats on Tuesday warned Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan not to bow to the pressures from his conference and run out the clock on budget talks for a better negotiating position amid shutdown pressures in January.
But House conservatives argue that they too want a deal as soon as possible in order to give appropriators in both chambers enough time to craft spending bills for fiscal year 2014.
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer called on Ryan, who is cochairing the budget conference committee, to put a "serious proposal on the table" ahead of the committee's Dec. 13 deadline.
"Paul Ryan is a leader. Paul Ryan ought to lead and not follow his caucus down a road which would lead to shutdown," Hoyer said. "That would be irresponsible and harmful. And I hope he doesn't do that."
William Allison, a spokesman for Ryan, said, "Chairman Ryan is committed to finding common ground. He hopes both parties can work together to cut spending in a smarter way."
Hoyer and other Democrats on Tuesday pointed to a letter House Appropriations Chairman Harold Rogers, R-Ky., and other leading Republicans sent to Ryan and his cochair, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., on Monday, saying that if an agreement cannot be reached "by Dec. 2 at the latest," the alternatives could lead to "extremely damaging repercussions."