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Johnson, Kinzinger react to supercommittee’s failure

The U.S. Capitol is seen as Republican and Democratic members of the supercommittee continue to meet on deficit reduction talks Monday on Capitol Hill. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images) BLOOMINGTON – One Central Illinois congressman said he was disappointed the supercommittee is on track to miss its deficit-cutting deadline, while another says the 12-member bipartisan panel was a bad idea in the first place.The panel was asked to find $1.2 trillion dollars in deficit reduction that both Democrats and Republicans could agree on, but members have been accusing the other party of intransigence. Several members did hold a meeting at midday and more sessions are possible. But there’s no indication of a breakthrough.The White House is urging Congress to act. The panel’s failure would trigger across-the-board spending cuts to domestic programs and the Pentagon budget in 2013. White House press secretary Jay Carney says the defense cuts would be too deep and suggests lawmakers take a fresh look at the deficit reduction plan President Barack Obama offered in September.U.S. Rep. Tim Johnson, R-Urbana, said Monday that he opposed creation of the panel and “could’ve predicted exactly this would happen.”“You have 12 partisan people who are diametrically opposed to one another, who are apparently unwilling to compromise,” he said. “This is precisely the problem that America faces today: a dysfunction founded in partisanship that’s gone overboard.”Freshman U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Manteno, said he was disappointed the panel failed to hit the deadline, though he was holding out hope for an eleventh-hour deal.Kinzinger, who serves in the Air National Guard, said he’s hopeful that lawmakers will find a way to avoid the potentially “devastating” Defense cuts before 2013 comes.“Hopefully we can come together and talk like adults, frankly, and have these real conversations and quit just blaming, blaming and get something done,” he said.Kinzinger also discounted Democratic criticisms that “no tax hike” pledges made by Republicans to anti-tax advocate Grover Norquist were the real roadblock in the negotiations. Kinzinger said he signed such a pledge himself as an “early candidate,” though he added that he’d vote to do “what’s right for the country” to get the economy moving, if necessary.“That’s frankly a Democratic attempt to change the subject,” he said.Johnson said it’s not feasible to look at the deficit crisis without considering both spending cuts and revenue increases.“In some form or fashion, I would consider revenue increases,” he said. “I think most people would agree that an overwhelming portion of the deficit crisis is caused by excessive spending, but it can be addressed in part by various revenue increases, including some of the proposals made by Sen. Toomey, a member of the deficit commission.”The Associated Press contributed to this report.Ryan Denham can be reached at .

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