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Budget talks begin, but no guarantee of success

By Stephen Ohlemacher

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, Oct. 17 2013 9:51 a.m. MDT

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., walk to a news conference after voting on a measure to avert a threatened Treasury default and reopen the government after a partial, 16-day shutdown, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013.

J. Scott Applewhite, Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Congressional budget negotiators aren't guaranteeing success as they begin talks aimed at solving the nation's budget problems.

Republican and Democratic leaders of a joint House-Senate committee met for breakfast Thursday morning as they started talks.

The committee was formed as part of a deal to reopen the government and extend the government's ability to borrow money.

Both GOP Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington state are promising to search for common ground.

But Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama is cautioning against raising expectations, and Democratic. Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland says just talking doesn't guarantee success. But Van Hollen notes that not talking guarantees failure.

The committee has a mid-December deadline.

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