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updated: 4/8/2011 2:03 PM

Hultgren: "Cautiously optimistic" deal will be made

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  • Congressman Randy Hultgren

       Congressman Randy Hultgren
    CHRISTOPHER HANKINS | Staff Photographer

By Kerry Lester
Politics and Projects Writer

Congressman Randy Hultgren says he's "cautiously optimistic" a budget deal can be reached between Republicans and Democrats this afternoon.

The 14th District representative's prediction came shortly after he came out of a Republican conference meeting called by House GOP leaders, including 6th District Rep. Peter Roskam of Wheaton.

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Hultgren, of Winfield, declined to disclose the specifics of what was said in that meeting, noting "what's said there is meant to be kept there." Still, he noted that "there's no agreement, but progress has been made."

Senate President Harry Reid said today that a specific amount of budget cuts -- $38 billion -- had been agreed to, but that party leaders were still negotiating over social policy issues, including abortion attached to the legislation.

Hultgren said he believes "it's down to an issue of spending reductions and where those reductions are coming from."

A government shutdown will occur at midnight tonight if a deal is not reached.

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