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'Supercommittee' fails to reach an agreement

In this Nov. 16, 2011 file photo, Sen.

In this Nov. 16, 2011 file photo, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., emerges from a closed-door meeting with fellow Democratic members of the Supercommittee at the Capitol in Washington. Photo Credit: AP

The bipartisan leadership of a special congressional deficit supercommittee has officially announced that the panel has failed to reach an agreement.

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.

Last-ditch bipartisan talks failed to produce a breakthrough.

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