Washington (CNN) - Senate Democrats said Wednesday they would sign on to President Obama's proposed five-year spending freeze as they attempt to wrest back headlines from Republicans' dramatic spending cut debate in the House.
"What we've gotten initially from the Republicans in the House is to whack more than a million jobs, and so our agenda is to create jobs, to do something about the debt," said House Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada.
Reid pledged Democrats would freeze domestic, discretionary spending for the next five years, which the president first proposed in his State of the Union address in January. The White House estimates a freeze would save $400 billion over ten years.
The decision signals that Senate Democrats–particularly liberals who think the president's proposed spending cuts are too deep– appear poised to put aside their differences and work with the White House on its budget plan.
The announcement came as members of the House enter their second day of debate over this year's budget, which Republicans are using to try to slash billions of dollars of spending. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York, called those cuts "a roadmap to disaster."
"Just contrast the difference between our ideas and what the Republicans are doing," Schumer said. "The House Republican spending measures would gut our ability to create jobs."
At their press conference, Senate Democrats spoke about the need to invest in clean energy, infrastructure and education to "win the future" and keep the economy from dipping back into a recession.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, scoffed at Democrats' planned spending freeze in remarks on the Senate floor.
"We find one party in the House of Representatives making a genuine effort to cut spending and debt, and we find Democrats in the Senate announcing today that they intend to line up behind the President's timid proposal for a partial spending freeze," McConnell said. "In other words, Democrat leaders in Congress intend to join the President in resigning themselves to a future of growing debts and deficits at a time when Americans are demanding cuts instead."