WASHINGTON (AP) — Republicans and Democrats on the special supercommittee warned of a financial crisis threatening future generations as the congressional debt reduction panel kicked off its work Thursday with an imperative to slash the deficit and lift the sluggish economy.

In a series of speeches, the six Republicans and six Democrats stressed the importance of compromise, shrugging off the bitter rhetoric of the summer's partisan brawl over raising the federal debt limit. That fight ended with a hard-fought deal between President Barack Obama and lawmakers that created the supercommittee.

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