Nov 20, 2011

News Alert: Lawmakers Concede Budget Talks Are Close to Failure

Breaking News Alert
The New York Times
Sunday, November 20, 2011 -- 1:25 PM EST

Lawmakers Concede Budget Talks Are Close to Failure

Conceding that talks on a grand budget deal are near failure, Congressional leaders on Sunday pointed fingers at each other as they tried to deflect blame for their inability to figure out a way to lower the federal deficit without having to rely on automated cuts.

The testy exchanges — which dominated the Sunday talk shows — made clear that leaders in both parties now see the so-called "sequester," a term meaning an automatic spending cut, as the most likely solution to reduce the federal deficit by $1.2 trillion over 10 years, instead of the negotiated package of spending reductions and tax increases they have been unable to achieve over the last 10 weeks.

Democrats blamed the Republicans for their unwillingness to walk away from a no-new-taxes pact they signed at the request of a conservative, anti-tax group, arguing that the American public realizes that no grand deal could be reached without a combination of spending cuts and new tax revenues.

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