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Super Committee Meetings Gain Urgency

Rep. Jeb Hensarling today said all 12 Democratic and Republican negotiators on the super committee would huddle for the second straight day in an effort to jump-start stalled deficit reduction talks.

The Texas Republican, who co-chairs the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction, said the panel would meet again today “to try to find common ground.”

Hensarling also warned, “If agreement is not found today, members of the Joint Select Committee, Democrats and Republicans, will gather through the weekend.”

The super committee must complete work on any deal by Monday — and have it scored by the Congressional Budget Office — if it hopes to meet its Nov. 23 statutory deadline.

But that is easier said than done. Negotiators have made no significant headway in more than a week, and Thursday evening’s meeting was the first time all 12 members of the committee met since Oct. 31.

Although they could continue to work on an agreement past Nov. 23, any agreement they reached would not enjoy the filibuster-proof status that meeting the deadline would give them.

Additionally, Republicans and Democrats alike agree that if the committee can’t come to agreement in the next few days, it is unclear if they ever could, making the deadline even more important.

“We are painfully, painfully aware of the deadline that is staring us in the face,” Hensarling said.

Meanwhile, Democratic members of the committee, including Reps. James Clyburn (S.C.), Chris Van Hollen (Md.) and Xavier Becerra (Calif.) briefed members of the Congressional Tri-Caucus on the status of negotiations this morning. The Congressional Tri-Caucus is made up of members of the Congressional Black Caucus, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus.

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