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Budget chairman dubious of ‘supercommittee’

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Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, expressed skepticism Sunday morning that the so-called "supercommittee" charged with finding trillions of dollars in debt reduction will accomplish its goal.

"I wouldn't call it 'super,'" Mr. Ryan, Wisconsin Republican, said on "Fox News Sunday."

"I think people are overemphasizing what this committee is going to achieve," he added.

Rather than reforming entitlement programs such as Medicare and Medicaid and tackling issues such as tax reform, Mr. Ryan said, it's more likely the committee — formed as part of the debt-ceiling deal passed last week — will instead find another "down payment" on debt reduction, likely in the the range of $1 trillion to $2 trillion.

Despite those reservations, Mr. Ryan said he would serve on the committee if asked by House Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican. The 12 members must be picked by Aug. 16.

With political and financial leaders still reeling after Standard & Poor's downgraded the U.S. credit rating on Friday, Mr. Ryan poured cold water on the idea that any committee can change the downward trajectory of the nation's economy unless President Obama is ousted from the White House.

"Ultimately, I think you need to change the leadership in Washington," he said.

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