Deficit Panel Facing Political, Fiscal Consequences Without Budget Deal

The military, the nation’s financial reputation and political careers are hanging in the balance as lawmakers approach the deadline for a deficit deal carrying little more than reasons for why things went wrong.

Following days of dire predictions about the fate of the so-called Super Committee tasked with finding at least $1.2 trillion in savings, the ghost-town scene on Capitol Hill Saturday was not encouraging.

The only member of the so-called Super Committee spotted was Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., who told reporters that no in-person meetings were planned — only phone calls.

It was not the typical picture of lawmakers burning the midnight oil in pursuit of a carefully crafted, last-minute deal, the kind Washington is famous for. Instead, reporters, construction workers and tourists made up the bulk of the occupants at the Capitol, with lawmakers home for Thanksgiving break. Escalators in the office buildings were offline, the interior illuminated by the occasional triggering of motion-sensor lights.

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