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Republican co-chair of debt panel calls prospects for deficit-reduction agreement grim
WASHINGTON (AP) ' The Republican co-chair of Congress' debt supercommittee says chances are slim that the panel can agree on a plan to reduce spending by $1.2 trillion over 10 years.
Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling says "nobody wants to give up," but he also tells "Fox News Sunday" that "the reality is to some extent starting to overtake hope."
The committee faces a Wednesday deadline. But members would have to agree on the outlines of a package by Monday to allow time for drafting and assessing by the Congressional Budget Office.
Republicans are demanding changes in programs such as Medicare and Medicaid while Democrats are insisting on tax increases on the wealthy.
The Democratic co-chair, Sen. Patty Murray of Washington, is appealing for "shared sacrifice." She was on CNN's "State of the Union."