(J. Scott Applewhite/AP)
October 9, 2011
In this Sept. 13, 2011, file photo, the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, led by co-chairs Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, third from left, and Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., fourth from left, meets on Capitol Hill in Washington to hear testimony about the national debt from the Congressional budget director. After weeks of secret meetings the supercommittee seems no closer to reaching its assigned goal of at least $1.2 trillion in deficit savings over the next 10 years than it was when talks began. Lawmakers, aides and lobbyists closely following the group are increasingly skeptical, even pessimistic.