Washington (CNN) – A day after President Obama testily blamed Republicans for blocking a debt deal, a Senate Republican struck back, calling the president's words "disgraceful" and saying "he should be ashamed."
"I respect the office of the President of the United States," said Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, in a speech on the Senate floor. "But I think the president has diminished that office and himself by giving the kind of campaign speeches that he gave yesterday."
Cornyn heatedly objected to the president's charge that Congress has been lackadaisical in addressing the looming debt crisis, which comes to a head when on August 2nd when, the Treasury Department says, the debt limit is set to expire.
A day earlier Obama had scolded Congress for taking too much time off and said "at a certain point, they need to do their job."
"They're in one week. They're out one week. And then they're saying 'Obama's gotta step in..."' the president told reporters Wednesday. "You need to be here. I've been here."
On Thursday morning Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced the Senate would cancel its planned recess next week to work on a deal saying he hoped Republicans "for once, put politics aside and help Democrats to fulfill Congress' sacred responsibility to the American people."
Speaking on the Senate floor, Reid also painted a dark picture of the consequences of a U.S. government default.
"It would plunge the United States not into recession but into full-blown depression, without a doubt. Without exception, the respected financial voices of our time have said the effects of a default crisis would be felt across the globe. I repeat: this would create a world-wide depression," he said.
House Minority Leader Mitch McConnell sought to turn the tables on the president, issuing an invitation for Obama to come to the Capitol for lunch with Republicans to hammer out a plan.
"That way he can hear directly from Republicans why what he's proposing won't pass," McConnell said on the Senate floor. "The President says he wants to get working, wants us to get working. I can't think of a better way than to have him come right on over today. We're waiting."
Cornyn, who heads up the Senate Republican campaign operation, followed up the invitation by slamming Obama for not taking a more active role in securing a solution, and faulted him for spending time on the campaign trail. The president will travel to Philadelphia today to attend two fundraisers for the Democratic National Committee.
"I wonder if he's going to cancel his fundraiser in Philadelphia tonight to meet with Senator McConnell and Speaker Boehner to try to work on this threat that he was so emphatic about yesterday," Cornyn asked. "I predict he won't cancel his fundraiser in Philadelphia tonight to get to work on something that only he can do, which is to negotiate a grand bargain with Republicans and Democrats that will solve this problem."
White House Spokesman Jay Carney responded to the remarks by reeling off several "listening sessions" the president has had with both McConnell and Reid and House and Senate Republicans at the White House on the debt issue.
"[McConnell] invited the president to hear what would not pass," Carney said. "That's not a conversation worth having. What we need to have is a conversation about what will pass."
As for the prospect of Obama cancelling his evening fundraisers, Carney demurred.
"We can walk and chew gum at the same time, as the president said yesterday," he said.