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CNN: Political leaders negotiate budget stalemate
White House officials led by Vice President Joe Biden met for the first time Thursday with House and Senate leaders in both parties to begin negotiations on major differences over government funding levels and spending cuts. According to multiple sources familiar with the meeting, negotiators agreed to hold Senate votes on each side's position, in the hopes of demonstrating the necessity of compromise to powerful voices in both parties who have been resisting a deal. The meeting, held in Biden's office on Capitol Hill, was prompted by congressional Democrats who implored the White House to get more involved in the battle with Republicans over spending.
CNN: Wisconsin governor tells absent senators: Return or 1,500 get laid off
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on Thursday warned 14 absent lawmakers trying to stall his controversial budget bill to return to the state Capitol immediately to vote on the measure, or layoff notices will be sent to 1,500 public employees before the weekend. "Unfortunately, if we don't have action by tomorrow we have a legal and moral obligation to start forewarning people," Walker said a Thursday night press conference. The layoffs would take effect April 1, the governor said. Walker's threat to start laying off workers capped the third week of a high-stakes drama playing out in Wisconsin.