CNN: Washington (CNN) - With funding for the federal government set to expire in less than two weeks, Senate Democrats and House Republicans are in discussions to avoid a government shutdown, a Senate Democratic leadership source told CNN.
News of the negotiations comes a day after several Republican lawmakers indicated they might accept a short-term spending bill as long as it included at least some spending reductions and not necessarily the deeper cuts the House approved last weekend.
CNN has learned House Republican leaders are pushing them [conservative freshmen] to accept only modest cuts in the short-term to avoid a government shutdown. They've made the pitch in staff-level discussions, one-on-one meetings between leaders and freshman lawmakers, and a group meeting Friday with more than 70 freshman Republicans and Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Republican Whip Kevin McCarthy, according to two freshmen who were there.
It appears the hard sell is working.
Rep. Tim Scott. R-South Carolina, a Tea Party-backed freshman who was elected by his colleagues to serve as liaison to the House GOP leadership, told CNN Monday, "the time is short for the Senate to come up with on a long-term solution so we are prepared for a short term conversation on a short term [spending bill]."
Another Tea Party-backed freshman, Rep. Raul Labrador. R-Idaho, said he is on board, but only to a point.
"After one or two short term [spending bills] you do start losing some freshman, and I'm one of them," Labrador said. "We can't continue to fund government at this rate. The reason we came to Washington, DC is to let people know we want stability back in the system. You can't legislate by short term spending bills."