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Kerry: GOP 'insistence on the Bush tax cuts' blocking deficit deal

Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) blamed Republicans for the supercommittee's likely failure to reach a deal, saying the GOP refused to allow the Bush-era tax rates to expire.

"The only thing blocking us is the insistence on the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy," said Kerry on "Fox and Friends" Monday.

Kerry, a member of the congressional deficit-reduction panel, said if the Republicans on the committee agreed to ending the Bush tax rates, an agreement could still be reached before Wednesday's deadline. 

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The supercommittee is widely expected to announce Monday that it has failed to meet its mandate — finding a minimum of $1.2 trillion in spending cuts.

The Massachusetts senator made the rounds on the morning shows Monday to blame Republicans and defend Democrats, saying they had put entitlement reform on the table as part of a larger deal in exchange for increased revenue and taxes. 

"You don't think we haven't put pain on the table? I have demonstrations outside my office. I've had rallies. I've had incredible push back because we were ready to put on the table some of those so-called sacred cows," said Kerry on MSNBC's "Morning Joe." 

The committee was tasked with proposing $1.2 trillion in savings over the next 10 years through spending cuts and revenue. If a plan is not agreed upon, automatic cuts to defense spending, Medicare and other programs will be triggered.

Kerry acknowledged that a sweeping savings deal would not be reached, but he maintained that discussions are continuing and reaching a deal is still a possibility. 

"If we fail to do this today, it will define 2012 going forward," he said on MSNBC.