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Md. Democrat: Unclear If Debt Panel Succeeds

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WASHINGTON (AP) — A Democrat serving on a “supercommittee” responsible for recommending more than $1 trillion in deficit cuts says it’s “still unclear” that the panel will succeed.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen said he’s absolutely convinced that members of the bipartisan 12-member committee are trying to reach agreement by a Thanksgiving deadline.

The Maryland Democrat also says that the supercommittee should take near-term steps to create jobs.

The panel is charged with coming up with $1.2 trillion in deficit savings over the coming decade. But differences over raising new tax revenues and cutting popular benefit programs like Medicare have thus far kept the panel from making a breakthrough.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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