Budget talks start off with tax fight

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The budget conference committee met for the first time on Wednesday, and its leaders immediately clashed over the old issue of taxes.

Senate Budget Committee Chairwoman Patty MurrayPatricia (Patty) Lynn MurrayIBM-led coalition pushes senators for action on better tech skills training Members of Congress demand new federal gender pay audit Overnight Health Care — Sponsored by PCMA — Health chief grilled on Trump drug pricing plan, ObamaCare case MORE (D-Wash.) said Republicans must agree to close “tax loopholes” as part of any deal to replace automatic spending cuts known as the sequester.

House Budget Committee Chairman Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanTrump digs in amid uproar on zero tolerance policy Mark Sanford’s troubles did not begin with Trump NY Post blasts Trump, GOP over separating families at border MORE (R-Wis.) responded, “if this conference becomes an argument about taxes, we’re not going to get anywhere.”

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Negotiators ended their day by deciding to get together again on Nov. 13, when they will have a month left to reach a deal by a Dec. 13 deadline.

The clash between Ryan and Murray, and the lack of urgency suggested by the decision to not meet until after a congressional recess, could justify outside expectations that the conference committee members are unlikely to reach a deal on their own.

Murray insisted she’s willing to agree to some “tough spending cuts” that, unlike the sequester, which would end in 2022, would be “permanently locked into law.”

But she said a compromise would have to run both ways, meaning Republicans would have to give ground on higher taxes. 

Read more from The Hill.