The co-chairs of the deficit-reduction "super committee" are expected to announce Monday that the bipartisan group of six senators and six representatives were unable to agree on a plan to cut $ 1.2 trillion from the federal budget over the next 10 years. The committee has until midnight Monday to issue such a proposal which would ward off the $1.2 trillion in automatic "trigger" cuts across the board set to begin in 2013. However lawmakers are already blaming members of the rival party for the breakdown in negotiations.
Republicans argue that Democrats won't get serious about cutting entitlement spending by reforming Medicare or Social Security. Democrats, meanwhile, insist the GOP is protecting the wealthy at the burden of the middle- and lower-class by refusing to raise revenues to pay off some of the debt. The deficit-reduction super committee and the consequences of its failure were created in a compromise between Speaker of the House John Boehner and President Obama to raise the debt ceiling. Since the August deal, the president has largely stayed out of the congressional negotiations. However, the Obama administration and Speaker Boehner both condemned any attempts by Congress to get around the automatic triggers if the super committee indeed fails to come up with a plan.
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