Debt panel Democrat: Unclear if panel succeeds

AP News
Posted: Oct 14, 2011 12:16 PM
Debt panel Democrat: Unclear if panel succeeds

A Democrat serving on a "supercommittee" responsible for recommending more than $1 trillion in deficit cuts says it's "still unclear" that the panel will succeed.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen said he's absolutely convinced that members of the bipartisan 12-member committee are trying to reach agreement by a Thanksgiving deadline.

The Maryland Democrat also says that the supercommittee should take near-term steps to create jobs.

The panel is charged with coming up with $1.2 trillion in deficit savings over the coming decade. But differences over raising new tax revenues and cutting popular benefit programs like Medicare have thus far kept the panel from making a breakthrough.