The co-chairs of the Supercommittee made it official, this 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.”
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.