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Senator Mikulski voices optimism on budget deal

U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) stands at the podium flanked by eight other Democratic female members of the U.S. Senate during the sec
U.S. Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) stands at the podium flanked by eight other Democratic female members of the U.S. Senate during the sec

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senator Barbara Mikulski, who heads the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee, on Tuesday expressed optimism that private negotiations in Congress have produced a tentative budget deal.

"I am cautiously optimistic that we have a deal," Mikulski, a Democrat, told reporters. Her panel would be tasked with carrying out any budget accord.

Democratic Senator Patty Murray and Republican Representative Paul Ryan have been holding private negotiations aimed at producing a two-year budget deal that would avoid a government shutdown on January 15, when existing federal agency funds expire.

(Reporting by Richard Cowan; Editing by James Dalgleish)

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