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Supercommittee members announce failure

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Hensarling, left and Murray, right (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

Members of the deficit reduction "supercommittee" confirmed soon after financial markets closed Monday afternoon that they failed to reach a solution by their deadline to cut $1.2 trillion from the federal deficit.

"After months of hard work and intense deliberations, we have come to the conclusion today that it will not be possible to make any bipartisan agreement available to the public before the committee's deadline," committee co-chairs Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Tex.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said in a statement.

"Despite our inability to bridge the committee's significant differences, we end this process united in our belief that the nation's fiscal crisis must be addressed and that we cannot leave it for the next generation to solve.  We remain hopeful that Congress can build on this committee's work and can find a way to tackle this issue in a way that works for the American people and our economy."

The committee aimed to meet a deadline Monday night to submit their proposal to the Congressional Budget Office for vetting in time for the committee to vote on the proposal Nov. 23.

Automatic defense and non-defense cuts will be triggered Dec. 23 and take effect in January if no proposal is passed by Congress to cut $1.2 trillion.

The president, as expected, hit out at Congress in a statement to the media Monday night and placed blame squarely on Republicans for opposing the removal of tax cuts for the wealthiest earners. "At this point at least, they simply will not budge from that position," the president said.

He added that Congress still has a chance to act before the end of the year, but added that due to the automatic cuts, "one way or another we will be trimming the deficit by a total of at least 2.2 trillion dollars over the next ten years."

Republicans, including presidential contenders, independent New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg and others on Monday blamed President Obama for the supercommittee's failure charging that the president did not sufficiently pressure the supercommittee to act.

"Ultimately, responsibility for this failure lays at President Obama's feet," Texas Gov. Rick Perry said in a statement.

"Obama, again, is failing Americans, providing no leadership, and exacerbating our national debt to more than $15 trillion-- over $48,000 for every man, woman and child," former Godfather's Pizza CEO Herman Cain said in a statement.

"It's the chief executive's job to bring people together and to provide leadership. I don't see that happening," Bloomberg said at a news conference.

White House spokesman Jay Carney defended the president during Monday's press briefing, turning blame back on the committee itself.

"Congress assigned itself a task, wrote a law, voted for it, and the president signed it," Carney said. "They have to hold themselves accountable," live within their means and take responsibility for their actions, like ordinary Americans, he added.

Update 6:00 p.m. ET: Story updated to include President Obama's statement to the press.

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