Senate Dems to Propose Their Own Cuts Bill designed as a compromise, or at least, to look like one By Kevin Spak, Newser Staff Posted Feb 25, 2011 7:07 AM CST 17 comments Comments Richard Durbin, Harry Reid and Patty Murray hold a news conference in this February 16, 2011 file photo. (Getty Images) (Newser) – Senate Democrats have informed the White House that they’re working on a seven-month spending bill with some significant cuts in discretionary spending, in the hopes of avoiding a government shutdown, one aide tells Politico. Though they haven't shared a number, an aide says they plan to target 211 programs that Obama put a bulls-eye on in his 2012 budget—which come with an estimated savings of around $33 billion—as well as $8.5 billion in leftover earmarks funded under the current continuing resolution. Democrats want to make it clear they tried to compromise, and are not to be blamed if the government does shut down. “We have said all along we are willing to negotiate on further cuts beyond the $41 billion we have already put on the table,” the aide says. “Now we will see whether House Republicans will be reasonable.” But Republicans say that $41 billion figure is exaggerated, and have given little indication that they’re willing to compromise.