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Senate Democrats Said to Reject Republican Offer on U.S. Budget

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat from Nevada. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Dec. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Senate Democrats rejected the latest Republican offer on averting U.S. tax-and-spending changes set to start in two days, according to two Senate Democratic aides close to the negotiations.

Democrats turned down the offer because Republicans wanted to use a new inflation measure for calculating Social Security cost-of-living increases as part of an interim deal, the two aides said.

The aides, who requested anonymity to discuss the private talks, said Democrats view the latest offer as a setback to negotiations between Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican.

Reid and McConnell are scheduled to brief their members at 3 p.m. Washington time on the status of talks, and one of the aides said Reid would tell Democratic senators that he and McConnell are moving farther apart from, rather than closer to, a deal.

President Barack Obama had offered to move to that inflation measure in earlier talks with House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kathleen Hunter in Washington at khunter9@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Laurie Asseo at lasseo1@bloomberg.net

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