FILE - In this Sept. 13, 2011, file photo the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction meets to hear from Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Elmendorf about the national debt, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Failure by Congress? debt-cutting supercommittee to recommend $1.2 trillion in savings by Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2011, is supposed to automatically trigger spending cuts in the same amount to accomplish that job. But the same legislators who concocted that budgetary booby trap just four months ago could end up spending the 2012 election year and beyond battling over defusing it. From left to right on bottom are: Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, co-chair, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., co-chair, Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz. From left on top row are Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, and Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)