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Toomey lays out goals for budget negotiation

Published by Tracie Mauriello on .

Keep the 2011 spending caps in place. Let President Barack Obama decide which programs to fund and which to cut. And include a provision to keep the government funded – at ever decreasing amounts – in the event of an impasse.

Ideally, Sen. Pat Toomey wants a more conservative approach but he believes those three goals are reasonable and achievable.

The Pennsylvania Republican laid them out Tuesday as he stepped into a familiar role as a member of a bipartisan and bicameral conference committee charged with hammering out a budget deal.

In 2011 he served on a similar panel, which became known as the “supercommittee.” Talks went nowhere and inaction led to the government sequester.

“I’ve been around this track before, and the prospect of having a broad grand bargain of some sort are not great,” he said Tuesday. “It’s entirely possible that we’re just too far apart to get an agreement of that sort.”

That’s why this time he’s focused on a narrower and more moderate set of measures.

The committee meets for the first time Wednesday, when each member will lay out their goals during a public hearing. 

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