Pelosi urges budget deal by Thanksgiving

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But Pelosi, the House Democratic leader, warned Wednesday that using all of the allotted time could threaten the economy by encroaching on the holiday shopping season. She's calling for Congress to close the negotiating window by a few weeks.

"It is my hope – and I hope that it would be one that we would all agree to … – that the budget conference could be finished by Thanksgiving," she said during her weekly news conference in the Capitol. "Why do we have to wait until [December]?"

The condensed timeframe, she said, would "give certainty to consumers."

"We want to restore consumer confidence during the holiday season, stability to our markets and economic security to the American people before the holiday season," Pelosi said. "December's an important month, some businesses do 70 percent of their business during December, depending on consumer confidence."

The budget negotiators have a tough road ahead, as the chambers' budget proposals have vastly different approaches to spending, taxes and entitlement programs.

Pelosi on Wednesday downplayed those differences, noting that the issues at hand have been examined many times before.

"It's just a decision. We know what the inequities are that have to be balanced," she said. "We want to reduce the deficit; we want to replace the sequester; we want to do so in a way that's fair to the middle class, that creates jobs by building the infrastructure of our country.

"This is the stuff on the negotiating table, and we're happy to be going to that table."