On Supercommittee, Growing Doubts About Reaching a Debt Deal

November 13, 2011

With just 10 days left before a Thanksgiving deadline, members of the congressional "supercommittee" appear increasingly pessimistic about the odds of forging a debt-reduction deal, despite a new offer by Republicans to raise taxes.

The public debate has grown more divisive since both sides laid out their latest offers last week. Negotiators, already under attack from the left, are facing fresh pressure from the anti-tax right. And charges of betrayal are expected to intensify Monday when the House returns from a week-long break, fueling concerns that a deal could emerge from the supercommittee only to die in the House or the Senate. 

On Sunday, Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas, the supercommittee's GOP co-chairman, said he hasn't "given up hope" that the panel can reach an agreement to reduce borrowing by at least $1.2 trillion over the next decade. But Hensarling also embraced the prospect of failure.

"Listen, it's been a roller-coaster ride," he said on CNN. "We haven't given up hope. But if this was easy, the president of the United States and the speaker of the House would have gotten it done themselves" in talks during this summer's debt-limit showdown. 

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