Report: Paul Ryan, Patty Murray nearing a budget deal

Dec. 3, 2013 at 11:17 AM

WASHINGTON, Dec. 3 (UPI) -- Lead U.S. budget negotiators were pushing to finalize a deal that would set spending levels to replace sequester cuts for the next two years, Politico reported.

Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., were considering a plan that would provide relief to some of the domestic and defense programs most burdened by the sequester through 2015 by replacing the cuts with budgetary savings in other areas, Politico reported Monday.

New revenue through fee increases, not tax increases, is likely, people familiar with the negotiations told Politico.

The plan also would try to find a compromise in the middle between overall federal spending levels sought by Ryan and Murray in their respective budget plans. Under one scenario, overall discretionary spending levels would be in the $1 trillion range for 2014, up from the $967 billion spending level under the House's Budget Control Act but lower than the $1.058 trillion level sought by Senate Democrats, sources told Politico.

If the two sides agree to that approach, the increase in spending would be divided roughly equally between defense and non-defense spending, Politico said.

"We're making progress," Ryan said of discussions Monday. "We're talking."

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