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Congress: Small budget deal likely?

Roll Call: “Grand bargains are out. Tax hikes are out. Short-term and stopgap solutions are very much in.

That’s the reality in Washington this week, as budget conferees meet for the first time Wednesday to try to hammer out a deal. Publicly, the White House and top Democrats are still talking about a “balanced” plan requiring new revenue as part of a long-term budget blueprint that would replace the sequester and tackle the nation’s long-term debt challenges. But almost no one expects that to happen.”

NBC's Kasie Hunt & Andrew Rafferty: "Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Monday that the Senate will vote on a bill to expand gay rights in the workplace before the Thanksgiving holiday.....The bill is unlikely to gain much traction in the Republican controlled House, but could provide Democrats with another opportunity to paint the GOP as out of step with most Americans by obstructing a bill aimed at ending workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity."

MSNBC's Benjy Johnson: "Senator Marco Rubio is bailing on his own immigration bill. Not only is the senator from Florida now telling House Republicans not to pass the Senate legislation he co-sponsored and championed for months – he’s urging them not to negotiate with the Senate at all."

“Senator Lindsey Graham threatened Monday to hold up all nominations for federal government positions until survivors of last year’s deadly attack on the diplomatic post in Libya appear before Congress,” AP writes. “‘Where are the #Benghazi survivors?’ the South Carolina Republican said on his official Twitter account. ‘I’m going to block every appointment in the US Senate until they are made available to Congress.’”

The Arizona Republic: “Former U.S. Rep. Rick Renzi, convicted in June of 17 counts of extortion, racketeering and other federal charges, was sentenced Monday to three years in prison. The 55-year-old Republican served in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District from 2003 until 2008, when he chose not to seek re-election while under indictment. He held a coveted seat on the House Intelligence Committee at the time of his indictment for public corruption.”

AP: "Former Democratic Rep. Ike Skelton, who built a reputation as a military expert and social conservative during 34 years representing western and central Missouri in the U.S. House, died Monday in Virginia. He was 81."