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A budget deal is gaining support

According to the Wall Street Journal  in today’s edition.

Congressional negotiators are nearing a small-scale budget agreement, possibly by the end of this week, but minefields remain as they work to sort through differences on revenue and spending matters, several congressional aides and lobbyists said.

Congressman Paul Ryan and Senator Patty Murray hope a bi -partisan budget deal is near.

Congressman Paul Ryan and Senator Patty Murray hope a bi -partisan budget deal is near.

Aides to senior Democrats and Republicans said talks were progressing but added that a final agreement hadn’t been reached.

Senate Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray (D., Wash.) met with House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) on Wednesday, and both sides expressed optimism that they could broker an agreement. A deal would be a major step toward moving past recent budget showdowns and basically eliminate the possibility that there will be another government shutdown in the next 10 months.

“She is optimistic and talks continue,” said Eli Zupnick, a spokesman for Ms. Murray.

Will Allison, a Ryan spokesman, said, “Ryan is committed to finding common ground.”

House Republicans had proposed setting discretionary spending levels at around $967 billion for the year that ends Sept. 30, 2014. Democrats had sought $1.058 trillion in budget capacity. Several congressional aides said lawmakers were targeting a budget range close to $1 trillion, but talks remained fluid.

Ms. Murray and Mr. Ryan lead a conference committee of 29 lawmakers, which is scouring the budget for ways to replace some of the automatic spending cuts known as the sequester. More..

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