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Supercommittee super secret about meetings

Sept. 28, 2011 at 10:01 AM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, Sept. 28 (UPI) -- The bicameral, bipartisan congressional committee tasked with reducing the U.S. deficit has met in secret and its members are mum, observers said.

A dozen lawmakers must slash at least $1.2 trillion from the nation's deficit over the next decade, spending time behind closed doors and revealing nearly nothing about the proceedings, Politico reported Tuesday.

"I don't want to discuss what we discussed," said Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., said after leaving a meeting of the Joint Deficit Reduction Committee Tuesday, the second day the panel met.

None of the members discussed the proceedings as they left. Asked whether the committee was adhering to the promise of transparency, Kerry said members were "living up to the commitment of getting the job done for the American people."

"Some" of the meetings would be open, Kerry said, while "some will not."

The committee's co-leaders also weren't forthcoming, Politico said.

So what do the chairmen have to say?

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., said only the panel had a "very productive day" and wasn't going to reveal "any of the details."

Co-chairman Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, left through a side door and avoided the media, Politico said.

So far, the committee has conducted four private meetings and two public meetings.

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