The congressional "super committee" is at a difficult point in negotiations on deficit-reduction, but lawmakers said on Sunday they had not given up on reaching an agreement by this month's deadline.
The special congressional committee is tasked with finding at least $1.2 trillion in budget savings over 10 years, but with a November 23 deadline looming, Republicans and Democrats have not yet sealed a deal.
Republicans have been reluctant to allow tax increases, and Democrats do not want to agree to cuts in healthcare and retirement programs until tax increases are on the table.
House of Representatives Republican Jeb Hensarling, committee co-chair, acknowledged on CNN's "State of the Union" program that tax increases would likely have to be part of any bipartisan deal.
"We believe that, frankly, increasing tax revenues could hurt the economy, but within the context of a bipartisan negotiation with Democrats, clearly they are a reality," Hensarling said.
House of Representatives Democrat James Clyburn, a member of the super committee, said on "Fox News Sunday" that while he was "very hopeful" that a compromise could be reached by the deadline, "I am not as certain as I was 10 days ago."
Not happening. Time to figure out what happens when the deal isn't reached, and the answer to that will most likely be nothing at all.
What if they fail – and nothing happens? After all, the automatic cuts kick in after the 2012 elections – when a new Congress will be in Washington. Will that Congress feel bound by the decisions of the previous Congress?
It depends on who's in charge of both Congress and the White House. Of course, long before this deal plays out, the continuing resolution that funds the government expires on Friday. So yeah, shutdown could come as early as Saturday. Who knows where we're going on this mess?