WASHINGTON (CNN) – House Republican leaders under fire from fellow conservatives for backtracking on a promise to cut $100 billion in spending this year are suddenly trying to meet that goal, according to a senior House GOP aide.
"Right now there are a lot of moving parts but the leadership is working with the RSC (Republican Study Committee), the freshmen and the (House) Appropriations Committee to coalesce around a unified strategy to cut $100 billion," the senior House GOP aide tells CNN. He would speak only off the record because he was discussing internal GOP deliberations.
House Republicans will likely unveil their spending cuts as soon as Thursday, as part of a bill the House plans to vote on next week to keep the government running through the rest of this year. The current spending bill expires March 4.
Last week House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, announced cuts he is recommending for the rest of the year that would add up to $35 billion when compared to spending levels currently funding the government. Ryan's proposed cuts would be $58 billion compared to spending recommended by President Barack Obama for 2011. Republican leaders say the reason for that is because the fiscal year is nearly half over, and the cuts they had planned reflect that.
Either way those cuts fall far short of the $100 billion this year that House Republicans vowed to slash in their so-called Pledge to America.
Conservative Republicans in both the House and the Senate have been pressuring House GOP leaders to keep that promise.
Earlier Wednesday, the House Appropriations Committee released a list of some 70 proposed cuts to programs and agencies, the first specifics Republicans have offered.
"Make no mistake; these cuts are not low-hanging fruit. These cuts are real and will impact every district across the country - including my own," said House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers of Kentucky in a statement.
Some of the highlights in that GOP spending cut list include: EPA, $1.6 billion; job training programs, $2 billion; community health centers, $1.3 billion; high-speed rail, $1 billion; family planning, $327 million; National Institutes of Health, $1 billion; NASA, $374 million; IRS, $593 million.
Still, conservatives made clear the total amount planned for the chopping block, $35 billion compared with current funding levels, was nowhere near enough.
For example, House Republican Jeff Flake of Arizona, a new member of the Appropriations Committee, opposed the overall levels set by the committee and warned that he planned to offer amendments pushing for the full $100 billion that GOP leaders proposed to cut.
CNN's Deirdre Walsh contributed to this report.