U.S. budget negotiators are near a deal to ease automatic spending cuts that congressional aides say could boost user fees rather than end corporate tax breaks,Bloomberg reported. Negotiators are "down to the last few items," said Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma, a member of a 29-member committee aiming to reach an agreement by Dec. 13 that sets federal spending levels for this year and next. Both parties are "careful to say they don't have a deal," Cole said. "It's not the grand bargain but it's a workable deal," Cole said today after a meeting of House Republicans. He said the deal would probably set a spending cap of about $1 trillion, instead of $967 billion through mandatory spending cuts known as sequestration and endorsed by the Republican conference. Democrats proposed a $1.058 trillion cap in their budget. Lawmakers from both parties doubt the possible budget deal would have the votes to pass Congress, though some of the ideas could help form the basis of a stopgap spending measure ahead of the Jan. 15 expiration of government funding.