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 MurrayChildren’s health-care bill faces new obstacles Overnight Health Care: Schumer calls for tying ObamaCare fix to children's health insurance | Puerto Rico's water woes worsen | Dems plead for nursing home residents' right to sue Schumer calls for attaching ObamaCare fix to children's health insurance 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 RyanThe Hill Interview: Budget Chair Black sticks around for now Gun proposal picks up GOP support GOP lawmaker Tim Murphy to retire at end of term 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.