Panel fails to cut deficit $1.2 trillion
The bipartisan leadership of a special congressional deficit supercommittee has officially announced that the panel has failed to reach an agreement.
Democratic Sen. Patty Murray and Republican Rep. Jeb Hensarling say that despite "intense deliberations" the members of the panelhave been unable "to bridge the committee's significant differences."
The panel was established by this summer's budget and debtagreement 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.
Last-ditch bipartisan talks failed to produce a breakthrough.
The budget deficit forced the government to borrow 36 cents of every dollar it spent last year.
Several panel members attended a last-ditch meeting at midday and said there might be further sessions later. But there was no indication of a breakthrough.
"Both sides are feeling angst and greater angst at the possibility of no agreement, and so they're working harder, more creatively, to see what could be accomplished," one panel member, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, D-Mont., said. "That's happening on both sides."