President Obama will deliver a statement from the White House briefing room at 5:45 p.m. ET on the news that the debt “supercommittee” acknowledged its failure Monday in efforts to cut the federal deficit by at least $1.2 trillion. Watch it live here:
The Post’s Paul Kane and Lori Montgomery reported Monday:
The panel’s failure was announced in a joint statement issued in late afternoon after the close of U.S. stock markets, which plunged during the day. Democrats had pushed for a joint public appearance by the committee’s co-chairmen, but even that goal proved elusive.
Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) floated a last-minute tax plan and met in his office with a fellow Democrat on the panel, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (Md.), along with Republican senators Jon Kyl (Ariz.) and Rob Portman (Ohio). There was no immediate breakthrough, however, and the supercommittee’s nearly three months of work ended quietly.
“It’s sort of a last-ditch effort to try to see if we could find a way to solve America’s problem here,” Kerry said in late afternoon. “We need to do deficit reduction. We don’t need to be doing another round of tax cutting.”
Kerry said the co-chairmen of the supercommittee “will tell us when and if it’s worth pursuing.” He denied Republicans’ contention that Democrats were not united around his plan.
Even before supercommittee’s statement, news that the special deficit-reduction panel had failed to meet its mandate to shave $1.2 trillion from the federal debt helped drive down stock markets that were already jittery over the European debt crisis. The Dow Jones industrial average fell more than 2 percent, and the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index and the Nasdaq also lost ground.