The Washington Times - November 14, 2011, 05:44PM

Supercommittee member Rep. James E. Clyburn has denied the bipartisan group is at a standoff and said he is hopeful a deal can be reached before next week’s deadline.

The South Carolina Democrat told MSNBC Monday that while he isn’t as confident as he was 10 or 12 days ago the dozen-member congressional panel will broker a deal, he remains “just as hopeful that we will.”

“l would not say that we are deadlocked. I think what would be a better description is that we have not quite coalesced around a plan,” he said.

Mr. Clyburn said “a lot of things are on the table” and that members are “very positive on both sides of the (partisan) aisle” they will meet their Nov. 23 goal of finding a path to lower the debt by $1.5 trillion.

“There’s some tweaking of things here and there but we just have not coalesced, but I think we’ll get there,”  he said.

The supercommittee’s talks have been conducted almost entirely in private, making it difficult to gauge any progress. If the group fails, $1.2 trillion in automatic across-the-board spending cuts would be triggered — about half at the Pentagon — in early 2013.

The biggest roadblock facing the panel is tax reform. Democrats have pushed for new taxes, particularly on the nation’s most wealthy, while Republicans have been reluctant to agree to an increase in net tax revenue.