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Ohio Senator Portman Optimistic Deficit Deadline Can be Met

U.S. Senator Rob Portman Thursday said he remains optimistic the bi-partisan congressional supercommittee will meet next week's deadline.  But the Ohio Republican acknowledged time to meet next Wednesday's deadline is running out. Portman said he supports cutting health care and other so-called entitlement programs and reforming the federal tax code. In a conference call with reporters, Portman said, "Right now there are many companies that are not making decisions to invest and add jobs because of the uncertainty in our economy and part of that uncertainty comes from our tax code." Portman said if the supercommittee achieves its goal of cutting the federal deficit by $1.2 trillion dollars it will be good for the country economically and politically. But he says if the committee is unsuccessful, gains may still be made. "If it is not successful there are many ways that we have been able to demonstrate through this select committee process for America to both move to a more competitive pro-growth tax code but also to find savings in the budget on the mandatory spending side." If Portman and the other members of the deficit cutting committee fail to achieve their goal, automatic across the board spending cuts in defense and domestic programs kick in in 2013.