The Free Press, Mankato, MN


Budget Battle

FILE - In this Oct. 11, 2013, photo, House Budget Committee chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., laughs as he walks to his office on Capitol Hill in Washington. Forget a grand bargain. Reaching even a small budget deal will be a challenge when negotiators start meeting in an effort to salvage any kind of agreement in the aftermath of this month's shutdown debacle and debt limit crisis. "If we focus on some big, grand bargain then we're going to focus on our differences and both sides are going to require that the other side compromises some core principle and then we'll get nothing done," Ryan, said in an interview on Oct. 24. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci, File)