House Budget Chair Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Senate Budget Chair Patty Murray (D-WA) are close to finalizing a modest but important budget agreement, and hope to announce it early this week after negotiating through the weekend.
The mini-bargain, if reached, would set spending levels for the next few years at roughly $1 trillion while mitigating the blunt damage caused by the sequester, according to sources familiar with the discussions. The across-the-board budget cuts would be replaced with a mix of flexibility for government agencies, targeted spending cuts and new non-tax revenues from higher government fees and asset sales.
Even if Ryan and Murray shake hands on a deal, which is not certain yet, there remain important obstacles to passing such an agreement through Congress and fleshing out appropriations bills by the Jan. 15 deadline to avert another government shutdown.
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