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As Deadline Nears, Pessimism About Super Committee

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The so-called "super committee" in charge of cutting more than $1 trillion from the national debt meets publicly this morning for the first time in more than a month, but the D.C. region's lawmakers aren't expecting any breakthroughs.

If this morning’s hearing is anything like the last two, lobbyists, staffers, and a throng of reporters will be clamoring to get an idea of what budget items the committee is looking to slash or protect. Many lawmakers and government watchdog groups are railing against the twelve-member committee for negotiating behind closed doors. 

Northern Virginia Rep. Jim Moran (D) says he expects today's hearing to be more show than substance. 

"Public hearings provide more posturing, but they don't provide more decision making -- less decision making," he says. "As far as I'm concerned, I’d rather they stay out of the public's eye and do their job."

Super committee members, including Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), have been tight-lipped of late about the direction of their negotiations. Many lawmakers and congressional experts expect them to fall short of their goal of cutting $1.2 trillion from the federal deficit, but the panel has a few weeks left to prove critics wrong. 

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