WASHINGTON (AP) -- House and Senate aides say that negotiations have resumed in an attempt to prevent a government shutdown next Friday.
The talks center on a split-the-differences figure to cut $33 billion from current spending levels. Democrats are pressing to ease GOP cuts to domestic agency budgets by curbing the Pentagon's growth and trimming so-called mandatory programs whose budgets run on autopilot.
The figure is well below the $60 billion-plus in cuts passed by the House last month but also represents significant movement by Democrats originally backing a freeze at current rates. Tea party-backed GOP stalwarts want more, and it's unclear whether they could live with the midway arrangement between top Democrats and Speaker John Boehner.
Because of the sensitivity of the negotiations, the aides required anonymity to confirm the talks.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)