WASHINGTON (AP) — The budget battle is not over. Many of the most nettlesome questions have been left for a new bipartisan super committee of 12 lawmakers whose task will be to find at least $1.2 trillion more in deficit cuts spread over the next decade.

The six Democratic and six Republican lawmakers — equally divided between the House and Senate and to be chosen in the next two weeks — is sure to experience the same ideological divisions over tax increases and cuts to programs like Medicare that bedeviled efforts involving top lawmakers and the White House this year.

But there's a real price to be paid if the committee deadlocks or if either the House or Senate rejects the panel's recommendations: the threat of deep, across-the-board spending cuts that would strike GOP priorities like defense and programs for the poor that are priorities for Democrats. The cuts wouldn't hit until January 2013, but their potential impact would have affected interest groups like defense contractors and farmers gulping.

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