Supercommittee failure not end of budget story

Monday - 11/21/2011, 5:06pm EST

Meredith Shiner, reporter, CQ Roll Call

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After two months of talks, the 12-member deficit reduction "supercommittee" looks like it's going to fail. While waiting for news from the committee on Monday afternoon, CQ Roll Call reporter Meredith Shiner joined In Depth with Francis Rose with an update from the last-ditch efforts to reach a deal.

Shiner said she expects two scenarios: the supercommittee to announce it didn't reach a deal or it reached a "hail Mary package" — the first scenario is probably what will happen, she said.

Several committee members met in the Capitol at mid-day, but there was no indication of progress toward an 11th-hour compromise.

"At least they're trying to appear they're trying to throw spaghetti on the wall, but how serious it is, that's hard to tell," Shiner said.

Without a supercommittee deal, the government faces automatic across-the-board cuts, or sequestration, with about $1 trillion in spending cuts to domestic programs and the Pentagon budget beginning in 2013. Today the White House urged Congress to act on the deficit instead of playing the blame game.

Meanwhile, Congress faces a Dec. 16 deadline for the current stopgap spending bill.

"December's going to be a mess, no doubt about it," Shiner said.

She added, "We're certainly not done with this story, even if the group fails, which it is expected do potentially any minute now."

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