Republican high hopes for balanced budget face Senate battle

By David Lawder WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A major goal of the new Republican-led U.S. Congress, passing a balanced budget, could be in jeopardy amid disagreements within the party over easing constraints on defense spending. The latest Republican feud comes less than a month after an embarrassing spat over homeland security funding and immigration. The fight pits conservatives who want to keep the “sequestration” budget caps in place against pro-military senators who say the constraints are degrading the Pentagon’s technological edge and ability to fight wars. With control of the Senate and the largest House of Representatives majority since World War II, Republicans hope to pass a full budget for the first time since 2009.

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