The chairman of the Senate Budget Committee said Sunday that the two parties probably will not be able to agree on a budget plan before the election, even as his panel prepares to hammer out a fiscal 2013 blueprint.

Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., speaking on “Fox News Sunday,” made clear that he is at peace with Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid’s position that the chamber does not need to bring a budget to the floor.

“I think Senator Reid has made the judgment, probably quite correctly, that there is very little chance that we’re going to get the two sides together before the election,” Conrad said.

The committee chairman said Congress can simply defer to the agreement from last summer’s debt-ceiling debate, which set spending caps for 2013 and beyond.

House Republicans, though, are trying to lower those caps further and make sweeping changes to federal entitlement programs with the budget that passed out of their chamber late last month.

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