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Top White House officials and congressional leaders from both parties touched gloves Wednesday in the Capitol to try to make progress on a stack of unfinished Washington business, starting with a hoped-for bipartisan budget deal.Neither White House representative, budget director Mick Mulvaney, nor top legislative strategist Marc Short, commented on their way in.The budget debate has been roiled by a demand from Democrats that nondefense programs win increases equal to those to be awarded to the Pentagon. The budget battle is but one element of a tricky Washington matrix facing the White House, its GOP allies, and Democratic rivals like Schumer.That has sparked pushback from GOP leaders who have refused to cede leverage to Democrats and insist on dealing with politically nettlesome immigration issues on a separate track.
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