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Murray urges supercommittee to not get "boxed in" by pledges

Susan Walsh
Associated Press
Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, and Rep. Patty Murray, D-Wash., shake hands at the end of the supercommittee's first organizational meeting.

U.S. Senator Patty Murray has debuted in her newest high profile role. The Washington Democrat co-chairs the so-called supercommittee on federal debt reduction. It held its first meeting today in Washington, DC., and Murray provided opening remarks.

This fall, the deficit cutting committee will recommend $1.2 trillion in spending cuts over the next ten years.

Murray has been under pressure from Northwest social service advocates to protect federal programs. But she said in her opening remarks that so far members of the committee have refrained from drawing lines in the sand.

“And as we move forward, I hope we can continue to not allow ourselves to be boxed in or pigeonholed by special interest groups, partisans, or media or pundits, and we are allowed the room to come to a balanced agreement," said Murray.

Murray's Republican co-chair Jeb Hensarling of Texas also set a bi-partisan tone. But he warned the federal deficit "has now entered the red zone." The budget committee meets again next week.

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