U.S. budget negotiators are nearing a deal to trim automatic spending cuts that might break a three-year cycle of failed fiscal talks in Washington, Bloomberg reported.


Reaching agreement is only the first step. Rounding up enough votes to pass the agreement in Congress will be the real challenge.


The deal being crafted doesn't slow the growth of the national debt and doesn't rein in the corporate tax breaks Democrats targeted for elimination. The accord also wouldn't fully replace the spending cuts known as sequestration.


Aides to Democratic Sen. Patty Murray and Republican Rep. Paul Ryan, chief negotiators on a special panel, say they are optimistic for a compromise by a Dec. 13 deadline to ease $100 billion to $200 billion in cuts for a year or two.


Lawmakers set up the 29-member budget conference panel as part of the agreement that ended the 16-day government shutdown in October, and set a Dec. 13 deadline for it to complete its work.