Members of the "super committee" charged with coming up with $1.2 trillion in budget cuts are focused on how to announce failure to reach a deal, Democratic and Republican aides confirmed to CNN Sunday.
While aides said no final decision had been made, they acknowledged that barring an unforeseen development, an announcement of no deal is likely.
Talks on trying to reach a deficit reduction agreement are essentially over and discussions are focused on a Monday announcement, a senior Democratic aide said.
To stave off automatic spending cuts known as a sequester, the super committee was tasked with proposing ways to reduce deficits by at least $1.2 trillion over 10 years. At least seven of its 12 members would have to approve a plan in order to send it to the House and Senate in the form of legislation.
Then, both chambers would vote on the bill without amendment by December 23. For the plan to pass, a simple majo rity in each chamber would have to vote in favor.
Failure to pass any agreement could result in $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts across much of the federal budget starting in 2013, evenly divided between defense and nondefense spending. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta warned Congress this week that such cuts could cripple the American military establishment.
Since Congress made the law governing the sequester, it can also amend or repeal it, as some lawmakers are suggesting.
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