The panel is sputtering to a close after two months of talks in which the members were never able to get close to bridging a fundamental divide over how much to raise taxes to address a budget deficit that forced the government to borrow 36 cents of every dollar it spent last year.
Conservatives, liberals and all factions in between are giving contradictory advice to the struggling debt supercommittee.
With a Thanksgiving deadline fast approaching, a special debt-reduction committee is suddenly springing to life on Capitol Hill. Democrats made the first move in a closed-door meeting this week, pressing the bipartisan panel to pursue a far-reaching deal to slice $3 trillion from the federal budget over the next decade through an equal mix of spending cuts and new revenue. The proposal calls for significant cuts to health and retirement programs, as well as $1.3 trillion in new taxes.