Divided Dems look to regroup

House Democratic leaders are seeking to unify splintering factions of their caucus after an embarrassing failure to reach a deal on basic numbers governing the nation’s budget.

Democrats launched their annual policy retreat in Northern Virginia on Wednesday, giving the caucus time away from the Washington spotlight to try to bridge differences between liberals demanding more social spending and centrists worried about skyrocketing deficits.

The divide is one that is characterizing this Democratic majority, which includes centrists fighting to retain red-leaning swing districts and liberals who rode a wave of progressive energy to victory and are demanding more significant changes in Washington.

The delay of the budget caps deal vote was a blow to party leaders just as they headed into their three-day caucus getaway — an event designed to highlight Democratic unity 100 days into the new Congress.

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