Nightly News | February 17, 2011
>>> in the nation's capital, there is new fallout from the already angry debate over money. your money, your tax dollars, how to turn them into a budget that president obama and the republicans can agree on. kelly o'donnell, our capitol hill correspondent, with us from the hill tonight. kelly , good evening.
>> reporter: hi there, brian. well, the temperature was really turned up here today. we talk about the chance of a government shutdown . you've got leaders from both parties digging in over how deep and how painful budget cuts need to be. with government spending on the chopping block --
>> when we say we're going to cut spending, read my lips . we're going to cut spending.
>> reporter: that provoked the senate's top democrat to accuse speaker boehner of being reckless enough to trigger a government shutdown .
>> and now he's resorting to threats to do just that, without any negotiations. that is not permissible. we will not stand for that. he's wrong.
>> reporter: if congress can't agree on cuts soon, the government is scheduled to run out of money to pay its bills in two weeks. but some republicans predicted a more dire fate.
>> if we're not careful, the united states will follow the roman empire .
>> reporter: there was drama, with a debate until almost 4:00 this morning and again all day over cuts as different as trimming programs to corral wild horses out west.
>> it's too expensive and problematic.
>> reporter: to complaints about the size of bureaucracy at the transportation security administration .
>> the airports i go through, there are way too many tsa employees just standing around.
>> reporter: some of the turmoil is actually internal. for conservatives, their ideology pitted against hometown interests.
>> this is not about me. this is not about my district.
>> reporter: but when nearly 50 freshmen house republicans voted to eliminate a fire jet engine considered obsolete, jobs near boehner's ohio district were put at risk.
>> listen, i don't want anyone to lose their job, whether they're a federal employee or not. but come on, we're broke.
>> reporter: and, brian, i should mention that that fighter jet engine is built by ge, a part owner of nbc. ge still lobbying to restore that funding. meanwhile democrats' biggest complaint is they say these cuts could actually hurt jobs at a time when so many are suffering.
>> kelly o'donnell on the hill tonight. kelly , thanks.