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Flashback: Super Committee

In November 2011, President Obama left the country as the so-called super committee talks crumbled.  At the time, Sen. John Thune (R-SD) 51% said the President’s absence created “a huge power vacuum” and “basically [sent] a pretty powerful message that [he was] disinterested in getting a result.”

Throughout the fall, Republicans accused super committee Democrats of being unwilling to negotiate.  Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) 86%told Sean Hannity “Democrats have walked away from the table and they’re refusing to talk to the Republicans about a deal… it’s starting to look like they don’t want any deal at all.”  Former Sen. John Kyl (R-AZ), a super committee member, said Democrats “need to make the next move; they walked away from our proposal.”  Even super committee member Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) 84% accused Democrats of “being inflexible.”

Why rehash the failure of the so-called super committee 23 months later?  Because there is some chatter in Washington about resurrecting a similar framework to pursue a larger budget deal.

The idea has resurfaced because, after near-constant negotiations with Republicans over fiscal issues in 2011, President Obama has decided he will no longer negotiate.  According to an official read out, “The president called the speaker again today to reiterate that he won’t negotiate on a government funding bill or debt limit increase.”

Americans understand this is an unreasonable position, which is precisely why the process should not recede behind closed doors in the Capitol or the White House.  Doing so would hide the Obama administration’s obstinance and congressional Democrats’ obstruction, both of which are on full display right now.

Equally concerning, a backroom process would only serve to push Obamacare to the margins, an outcome the President and some in Congress would welcome.  But as Heritage Action CEO Michael A. Needham explained last week, President Obama’s “reckless behavior should not breathe life into misguided dreams for a grand bargain.”  The goal, Needham said, remains the same: “Congress should ensure not another dime of taxpayer money is spent on Obamacare.” 

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Obama’s obstinance and congressional Democrats’ obstruction are on full display. #shutdown

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Some chatter in Washington about creating another "super committee." #shutdown

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