Super Committee Gives Up

Democrats, Republicans can't bridge budget differences
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 21, 2011 4:04 PM CST
Super Committee Fails to Reach Agreement on Budget Cuts
Supercommittee member Senator Max Baucus gestures to the media on November 21.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – The bipartisan leadership of a special congressional deficit super committee officially announced today that the panel failed to reach an agreement. 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, established to cut at least $1.2 trillion from the budget over 10 years, has been divided from the beginning over taxes and cuts to popular government benefit programs like Medicare.

Several panel members attended a last-ditch meeting at midday. "Both sides are feeling angst and greater angst at the possibility of no agreement, and so they're working harder," said panel member Max Baucus. But there was no breakthrough. Some members said there might be further sessions later. Congressional aides said they expected a formal statement within a few hours announcing the panel's failure to reach a compromise. The White House, which assumed a hands-off posture as the negotiators struggled, said the all-but-disbanded committee should keep working. (If you can stand more of them, see who the super committee members are blaming for their collapse.)

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