Supercommittee Admits It's Failed To Reach A Deal

Nov 21, 2011

The co-chairs of the Supercommittee made it official, minutes ago: They said they have failed to reach an agreement over a deficit reduction package.

The AP reports:

"Democratic Sen. Patty Murray and Republican Rep. Jeb Hensarling say that despite 'intense deliberations' the members of the panel have been unable 'to bridge the committee's significant differences.'

"The panel was established by this summer's budget and debt agreement to cut at least $1.2 trillion from the budget over 10 years. But the panel has been divided from the beginning over taxes and cuts to popular government benefit programs like Medicare."

In a statement, Rep. Jeb Hensarling and Sen. Patty Murray, the co-chairs of the commission, said they were "deeply disappointed" in their inability to reach a bipartisan deal.

They add:

Despite our inability to bridge the committee's significant differences, we end this process united in our belief that the nation's fiscal crisis must be addressed and that we cannot leave it for the next generation to solve.

The legislation Congress agreed to in the summer stipulates that if the committee could not reach a deal, there would across-the-board cuts of $1.2 trillion — or 10 percent of the nation's collective deficit — over the next decade. Neither party wants that, because it would hit the defense budget hard, which Republicans don't want, and also hit domestic programs, which Democrats don't want.

That could happen, or NPR's Liz Halloran reports, they could change the rules.

We'll have more as this story develops.

Update at 5:18 p.m. ET. President To Make A Statement:

President Obama will make a statement at 5:45 p.m. ET. We'll bring you his comments as they happen.

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