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Live chat: Lisa Mascaro in DC on the federal budget

March 29, 2011 |  9:58 am

As Washington bureau reporter Lisa Mascaro wrote Friday, Washington is consumed with lowering the annual deficit and heading off a debt crisis some experts warn could be a few years off.

Some lawmakers are working on a bipartisan blueprint to change to the way the federal government taxes, spends and provides such core services as Medicare and Social Security. Others took their own stabs at reducing the annual $1.4-trillion deficit. What's new, and what’s likely to happen before a funding stopgap expires next week?

Join Mascaro for a live chat Wednesday at 10 a.m. PDT. She’ll take your questions, and we'll talk about the federal budget, what is being done to prevent a government shutdown in the short term, and what has been proposed to address deficit problems in the long term.

Go to the chat, on the Chicago Tribune's Trib Nation blog.