GOP Debt Co-Chair: No Deal in Sight

Super committee talks 'like a roller coaster ride'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 13, 2011 10:23 AM CST
Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, participates in a news conference on the jobs report released today, on November 4, 2011.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – The Republican co-chair of a committee in charge of slashing the nation's deficit on today called deliberations a "roller coaster ride" and gave no indication that a deal could be struck before the panel's Thanksgiving deadline. Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling said the panel will fail unless Democrats agree to significant "structural" changes to entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security. When asked whether that could be done in a matter of days, he said "we haven't given up hope."

"But if this were easy, the president of the United States and the speaker of the House would have gotten it done themselves," Hensarling said. Hensarling offered no new talking points, indicating that the two sides likely remain far from reaching consensus. "We want more revenues. We just want to raise it by growing the economy," he said. Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, a Democrat member of the Senate's Gang of Six, blamed politics as the biggest culprit. "You'll know this supercommittee is getting close when folks on both ends of the political extreme scream the loudest," he said. (Read more Jeb Hensarling stories.)

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