Mikulski calls for grand bargain by mid-November on sequester, taxes, spending

"Nov. 15 keeps the pressure on … both sides of the aisle to get the job done," Mikulski said on the Senate floor.

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She defined "get the job done" as finding some way to find an agreement on issues that have split the two parties since Republicans took over the House in 2011.

"First of all, we would like to cancel sequester, and we would like to cancel sequester in a balanced way," she said. Mikulski said that could be done by finding $110 billion of cuts and tax revenue.

"We can do that through additional strategic cuts," she said, noting the first part of her equation. "As an appropriator, I'm willing to look at them."

"No. 2, revenue: What about those loopholes Mitt Romney talked about? Let's bring some of those back and examine them," she added. "And let's look at some of the items in mandatory spending."

Mikulski's equation has been rejected in part by both parties. Republicans have refused to talk about raising taxes any more, while Democrats have resisted calls to slash federal spending.

Senate passage of a spending bill that expires in mid-November would force House Republicans to consider that change, in addition to the likely change of removing language that defunds ObamaCare.