Supercommittee Talks on the Rocks

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Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT), center, is surrounded by reporters after leaving a meeting with fellow members of the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, or "Supercommittee," in the U.S. Capitol on November 18, 2011 in Washington, DC. With the deadline just five days away, members of the supercommittee are meeting in a frantic effort to reach a deal.

With only 72 hours until the deadline to introduce a proposal to cut $1.2 trillion from the U.S. federal deficit, the "supercommittee" charged with the task is just about ready to admit defeat. Republicans made a late offer, which Democrats rejected because it was heavily skewed toward spending cuts rather than new revenue. That offer, orchestrated by John Boehner himself, included even fewer taxes than a previous GOP plan. The divide was underscored Friday afternoon when the House narrowly rejected a balanced budget amendment to the constitution.