(CBSDFW.COM) - Just hours after he was sworn-in, Texas' new Republican Senator Ted Cruz went on offense against president Obama and Democrats - who he says are reluctant to cut spending.
Appearing on CNBC, Mr. Cruz said, "I think we have to be prepared to go so far as to shut the government down if we don't get some serious policies to stop the out of control spending to tackle the debt."
Texas' senior senator John Cornyn agrees.
In an op-ed piece for the Houston Chronicle, Mr. Cornyn wrote, "...it may be necessary to partially shut down the government in order to secure the long-term fiscal well being of our country..."
A Cornyn spokeswoman says key government functions such as the military would remain funded.
But Democrats, like State Representative Helen Giddings of Dallas oppose the idea altogether.
Giddings says, "I think the American people are just a little put out with elected officials coming together and bringing party things into what ought to be policy and governing."
UT Arlington political science professor Allan Saxe says Republicans are trying to gain leverage in the escalating debate over the nation's debt. "It's possible the Republicans, especially in the House of Representatives, maybe some in the Senate like Senator Cruz are going to say, 'Look, we got to make a point with the American people, this budget deficit is critical.'"
The thought of a partial government shutdown drew mixed reviews from north Texas residents.
Erinn Howald of Richardson says spending needs to be cut, but doesn't want to see the government shutdown. "It's sad when adults have to resort to child's play. I don't think either side has to make threats to do what's right for the American people on both sides of the issue."
Bob Thomas of Dallas though says, "I tend to agree with Senator Cornyn and Cruz. Someone has to get someone's attention. We're kind of running adrift now with no controls."
The debate between Republicans and Democrats will likely reach a fever pitch once again as the deadlines over the debt ceiling and spending cuts draw closer.
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