With five weeks to go to create an agreement that will cut at least $1.2 trillion from the federal budget over the next ten years, there are few indications that the Supercommittee will propose anything substantial. Despite demands from the co-chairs of the committee, Senators Patty Murray and Jeb Hensarling, that members not speak publicly about their work, Robert Pear, writing for the New York Times, was able to glean some insight into any progress the committee is making. According to a person working for the committee, members are “still hovering at 30,000 feet,” with no landing field in sight. Members are still asking, “What is the baseline? Are we doing tax reform?” In other words, even basic agreements of how to measure progress have yet to be hammered out. Rep. Chris Van Hollen, a member of the committee, admitted that “the jury is still out” on whether it could agree on where to find the $1.2 trillion in savings. Members of the committee have expressed exasperation about Sen. John Kerry’s rantings during the closed-door sessions: “Kerry just talks a lot,” according to a House Republican aide. “It’s what I would call Senate talk. It’s like a waterfall of words. It never gets you anyplace.” Another who has attended some of the committee’s sessions agreed: “Kerry is very aspirational.. People hope he will come down to earth.” One of Kerry’s aides defended his ramblings, explaining that Kerry “thinks out loud, running through the options in his mind. He vocalizes options that may cause distress.” In sum, the more Kerry talks and the more time he takes in the committee meetings, the less people are likely to pay attention or get anything substantial accomplished.