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Democrats want debt-cutting panel to address jobs

By Alan Fram

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, Sept. 8 2011 1:10 a.m. MDT

WASHINGTON — Democrats on a special congressional debt-reduction supercommittee want it to include jobs creation as part of its work, a task that would complicate the newly created panel's already formidable assignment.

The first meeting was scheduled for Thursday for the committee, which is charged with finding, by Thanksgiving, $1.5 trillion in savings over the next decade. That's no easy task given Washington's sharp partisan divisions. Democrats want to produce a mix of spending cuts and revenue increases. Republicans have insisted they would oppose tax increases, though some have indicated they might accept the closing of some tax loopholes.

Many observers are pessimistic that the panel will take a serious bite out of the nation's enormous $14 trillion in accumulated debt, especially with next year's elections approaching.

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