‘Gang of Eight’ Meetings May Give Lame-Duck Negotiations a Head Start

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With less than two months available for lawmakers to work on a plan to avoid $500 billion in tax increases and $110 billion in spending cuts, analysts see at least a small reason for hope as a bipartisan group of eight senators voluntarily returns to the Washington area to discuss a way forward. The “Gang of Eight” senators have been working on and off for two years on a long-term proposal to bring the federal budget back in balance, but their decision to begin a three-day retreat suggests to some that the lawmakers may at least be able to put together some sort of framework for a broader Senate deal after the elections.