Clyburn: Budget date is Jan. 15

Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) said Wednesday the real deadline for the budget conference is Jan. 15, not mid-December.

While the No. 3 Democrat in the House expressed optimism that an agreement could be reached this month, he said January is more realistic.

“I am hopeful for that, but remember that the magic date here is really Jan. 15. I wouldn’t be surprised if we would not come together by the 15th,” he said on MSNBC.

Congress set a deadline for the budget conference to come to an agreement by Dec. 13, next Friday. But the government does not run out of money again until Jan. 15, marking the real deadline.

Both parties are working on an agreement to extend government funding and possibly replace some sequester cuts. Clyburn described the talks as “very, very close but far away.”

While many have broadly agreed partial sequester replacements, they have not settled on how much to replace — or how to pay for it.

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